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Aug 1, 2014

Nomura doubles profit target, aims to grow client assets by 2020

TOKYO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Nomura Holdings Inc
doubled its profit target on Friday, saying it aims to take
advantage of Japan’s emergence from years of deflation and
sluggish economic growth to attract more customer funds.

Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment banking group said
it is targeting earnings per share (EPS) of 100 yen (97 US
cents) by Tokyo Olympics year 2020.

Jul 30, 2014

As Abenomics halo slips, Tokyo IPO investors press for value

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – At the New York Stock Exchange
last September, buoyed by high hopes for Japan’s economic
revival, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Wall Street to “Buy my
Abenomics!” Amid sagging growth and Tokyo listing flops,
investors are now looking for a discount.

The Tokyo bourse’s Nikkei benchmark is down 4 percent this
year as euphoria over ‘Abenomics’ – Abe’s radical reflationary
policies – has given way to more cautious views of Japan Inc’s
recovery. Investors in initial public offerings have little
appetite for frothy valuations with the world’s third-biggest
economy likely having shrunk in the second quarter after a sales
tax hike, and industrial output on the wane.

Jul 29, 2014

Nomura profit falls for 2nd straight quarter after stock rally cools

TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) – Nomura Holdings Inc
reported a second straight quarter of profit decline as
investors turned cautious on Japan’s economic recovery prospects
and held back on stock trading, bringing brokerage commissions
far below last year’s surge.

Japan’s biggest investment banking and brokerage group
enjoyed a spike in fees when the government of Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe spurred trading by investors optimistic toward
pro-growth policies.

Jul 17, 2014

Nissan’s Ghosn wary of Japan PM Abe target of 30 percent women in top jobs

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn raised doubts over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call to appoint women to 30 percent of top jobs by 2020, saying rushing to meet such a target could set the firm and its staff up for failure.

Abe issued his call as part of a strategy to encourage more women to work in the world’s third-biggest economy, replenishing Japan’s dwindling workforce in a rapidly ageing population. Yet with women now filling just 1 percent of corporate executive committee jobs, the target is ambitious.

Jul 3, 2014

Mizuho management is too far from front line -new chairwoman

TOKYO, July 3 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc’s
new board chairwoman, who was appointed to improve
governance after a mob loan scandal, said top management had
become too distant from the front line.

The Japanese bank was reprimanded in September for failing
to act two years after learning that a subsidiary had extended
loans to “anti-social forces” – a euphemism for organised crime.

Jun 18, 2014

After years of pressure, Japan bans possession of child porn

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s parliament voted on Wednesday to outlaw possession of child pornography after years of international calls for a crackdown, but avoided a clampdown on sexually explicit manga comics and animation depicting young children.

Japan is the last OECD nation to criminalize possession of child pornography, although it outlawed production and distribution in 1999, and has long been considered a safe haven for those buying child pornography.

Jun 6, 2014

Japan experts, not government, to set rules on outside directors

TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) – Japan’s government sees better
corporate governance as crucial to boosting the competitiveness
of its business sector, but will leave new rules such as the
number of independent directors up to an expert panel to decide,
a senior Japanese lawmaker said.

The country’s listed companies are currently not required to
appoint independent directors, but a new corporate law revision
due to be adopted soon will encourage listed companies to hire
at least one outside director.

May 30, 2014

Japan’s Abe visits Singapore casinos as Tokyo considers following suit

TOKYO/SINGAPORE May 30 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe toured Singapore’s two lavish casino resorts on
Friday as his country considers allowing casino gambling to
boost tourism and attract investment.

Abe, in the city-state to deliver a speech at a regional
defence and security conference, spent 40 minutes visiting
Marina Bay Sands, the three pronged waterfront resort built by
U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, and
then headed over to Resorts World on Sentosa island, owned by
Genting Singapore.

May 26, 2014

New Japan activist fund to join ‘friendly’ camp, seek higher ROE

TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters) – A new Japanese investment fund is
set to join a small but growing band of “friendly” activists,
shunning hostile tactics that have previously failed to generate
change and instead working with management to improve
shareholder returns.

Yasunori Nakagami, chief executive and co-founder of newly
established Misaki Capital, said he plans to launch an
open-ended fund in July with a brief to invest in around 15
Japanese companies where he sees capacity for growth – with
advice from shareholders such as himself.

May 16, 2014

‘Friendly’ activist wins Japan’s trust as hostile funds struggle

TOKYO, May 16 (Reuters) – When activist investor Brian
Heywood first met the newly appointed CEO of Japanese musical
instruments maker Roland Corp over a year ago, he
launched into a passionate discussion about music rather than
the company’s weak finances.

That friendly approach led to a series of conversations on
how to improve its business and culminated in an announcement
this week of a joint 42.6 billion yen ($419.4 million)
management buyout (MBO) by CEO Junichi Miki and Heywood’s Taiyo
Pacific Partners, a fund based in the United States but focused
on Japan.