Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Oct 22, 2014

Japan casino bill delayed again; resort opening could miss Olympics: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s plan to open up to casino gambling has been delayed again, three people familiar with the process said, dealing a blow to one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy priorities and to hopes the first resort will open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Pro-casino lawmakers have given up debating a casino legalization bill this month and now aim to start discussions in November, two people directly involved in the process and one person briefed on the deliberations said on Wednesday.

Oct 21, 2014

Lawmakers in Japan’s tsunami-hit region eye casino to hasten recovery

SENDAI, Japan, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Business and political
leaders in northeastern Japan are betting on a casino as the
brightest hope to speed reconstruction in a region battered by
the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Supporters of the plan for a casino near the northeastern
city of Sendai are not publicising their efforts yet, as they
expect strong opposition from residents on the grounds that a
casino would exploit victims of the disaster.

Oct 9, 2014

Japan’s Skylark dishes up weak listing as Tokyo investors eye Recruit IPO

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Japanese restaurant operator
Skylark Co Ltd served up a bland market debut on
Thursday, its stock falling 4.3 percent as investors snubbed a
$700 million sale devised to allow private equity owner Bain
Capital to cash out on part of its stake.

After opening flat at an initial public offering price of
1,200 yen apiece, stock in Skylark was changing hands for 1,149
yen at 0425 GMT. Shares in the company behind some of Japan’s
best-known, low-priced chain restaurants had been priced at the
bottom of their bookbuilding range.

Oct 6, 2014

Japan listings get bullish sign as Recruit sets IPO price

TOKYO, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Japan’s largest recruitment company
Recruit Holdings Co Ltd priced its $2 billion initial public
offering at 3,100 yen, the top of its bookbuilding range,
raising expectations of strong demand that could break a run of
flops among big Tokyo listings.

The range of 2,800 to 3,100 yen, set last week, had already
suggested a more bullish stance than the initial indicative
price of 2,800 yen for Japan’s second-biggest listing of the

Sep 29, 2014

Japan’s Skylark IPO pricing weak but Recruit more upbeat

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Japanese restaurant operator
Skylark Co Ltd priced its IPO at the bottom of its
marketing range but staffing firm Recruit Holdings Co Ltd
bumped up its pricing plans, in a sign that investors
have become more selective about Tokyo offerings.

Tokyo has seen a string of weak IPO performances this year
after last year’s euphoria over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s
growth policies gave way to more measured views.

Sep 29, 2014

Costs, politics erode chances for a Tokyo casino by 2020

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Plans to open Japan’s first
casino in Tokyo before the 2020 Olympics are becoming
increasingly unlikely, with developers facing skyrocketing
building costs and a city government that no longer considers
casino development an economic priority.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called legalising casino
gambling a pillar of his plan to revive economic growth. Casino
operators including Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore
, MGM Resorts and Melco Crown Entertainment
have all been positioning themselves as potential
investors in what analysts say is one of the world’s biggest
untapped markets for this sort of gaming.

Sep 10, 2014

Japan staffing firm Recruit plans IPO worth $1.8 bln

TOKYO, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Japan’s largest recruitment
company Recruit Holdings said it is planning an
initial public offering worth 193 billion yen ($1.8 billion),
which will test investor appetite for big Tokyo listings after
some weak debuts this year.

The offering will help Recruit, which aims to be the world’s
biggest human resources firm by 2020, pay for future
acquisitions. Keen to offset a shrinking market in Japan, the
company has snapped up a slew of foreign companies in recent
years, including online job search site Indeed.com.

Sep 4, 2014

Japan minister for GPIF reform a policy wonk with rebellious streak

TOKYO, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Japan’s new welfare minister
tasked with reforming the country’s $1.2 trillion pension fund
is a Harvard-educated former central banker with a sharp sense
of the reforms that markets want to see and a willingness to
buck the system.

Yasuhisa Shiozaki, 63, has a reputation as a policy wonk
with a strong resume, but critics say he has sometimes lacked
the finesse to navigate ruling party politics.

Aug 28, 2014

Japan’s brokerages seize opportunity as death tax set to rise

TOKYO, Aug 29 (Reuters) – As Japanese families gathered
earlier this month for the traditional “Obon” festival honouring
ancestors, some elderly parents broached an awkward but
increasingly critical topic: planning for inheritance.

Japan’s government will increase the inheritance tax rate in
January, while tax relief measures on gifting will be expanded,
in moves aimed at encouraging wealthy, older Japanese to either
spend or pass on their savings before they die.

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.