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Dec 8, 2014

Mizuho’s talks on stake buy in Indonesian lender Panin stall

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc said talks to buy Australia & New Zealand Banking Group’s (ANZ) stake in Indonesian lender Panin have stalled, adding the Japanese bank is considering other opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation.

“(The talks) have taken a slightly backward step,” Mizuho President Yasuhiro Sato said in an interview with Reuters. He did not elaborate on the reasons for the protracted negotiations.

Nov 14, 2014

Japan banks say lower credit costs help H1 profits exceed forecasts

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top three banks reported profits for the first half of the year far beyond their initial estimates, as reduced credit costs made up for more muted stock gains during a period of cooling enthusiasm over “Abenomics”.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research), however, continued to see paltry lending growth, highlighting the challenge faced by Japan’s central bank in encouraging borrowing and spending to stimulate the economy.

Nov 14, 2014

Mizuho joins SMFG in beating first-half profit forecasts

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported on Friday a smaller drop in first-half profit than it had projected at the start of the year, supported by strength in its market division and lower credit costs.

Japan’s No. 2 lender by assets joins third-ranked Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in reporting better-than-forecast April-September profit, suggesting this year would not be as bleak as the country’s top banks had initially foreseen.

Nov 14, 2014

Mizuho joins SMFG in beating H1 profit forecasts

TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc
reported on Friday a smaller drop in first-half profit
than it had projected at the start of the year, supported by
strength in its market division and lower credit costs.

Japan’s No. 2 lender by assets joins third-ranked Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group Inc in reporting
better-than-forecast April-September profit, suggesting this
year would not be as bleak as the country’s top banks had
initially foreseen.

Nov 4, 2014

Bank of Yokohama says considering merger with smaller rival

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s second-largest regional lender Bank of Yokohama Ltd on Tuesday said it is considering a merger with a smaller rival, a move that could spur much-needed consolidation in an industry facing bleak prospects for growth.

The proposed deal would create the largest Japanese regional bank and could herald a new stage in an industry shake-up considered long overdue by authorities and industry insiders alike.

Oct 31, 2014

Special Report: Tsunami evacuees caught in $30 billion money trap

ISHINOMAKI Japan (Reuters) – Thirty billion dollars in funding for roads, bridges and thousands of new homes in areas devastated by the tsunami in Japan three and a half years ago is still languishing unspent in the bank. That means Keiko Abe is heading into a fourth winter of sub-zero temperatures in a cramped, temporary dwelling that is succumbing to the elements.

“I’m just clenching my teeth until I can move out and live like a human being again,” says Abe, 66,¬†as she stands in the dim light of her living room with enough space for a couch, table and television. A gray mould clings to some walls of the prefab structure, where Abe has lived with her husband since shortly after a 9-metre (30 feet) wall of water obliterated large swathes of the city of Ishinomaki on the afternoon of March 11, 2011.

Oct 31, 2014

Tsunami evacuees caught in $30 billion money trap

ISHINOMAKI, Japan, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Thirty billion dollars
in funding for roads, bridges and thousands of new homes in
areas devastated by the tsunami in Japan three and a half years
ago is still languishing unspent in the bank. That means Keiko
Abe is heading into a fourth winter of sub-zero temperatures in
a cramped, temporary dwelling that is succumbing to the
elements.

“I’m just clenching my teeth until I can move out and live
like a human being again,” says Abe, 66, as she stands in the
dim light of her living room with enough space for a couch,
table and television. A gray mould clings to some walls of the
prefab structure, where Abe has lived with her husband since
shortly after a 9-metre (30 feet) wall of water obliterated
large swathes of the city of Ishinomaki on the afternoon of
March 11, 2011.

Oct 3, 2014

Japan insurer Tokio Marine scouts for more M&A targets in North America

TOKYO, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
sees many attractive acquisition opportunities in North
America, its chief executive said, even after already spending
more than $7 billion to buy insurance companies there in the
last six years.

“There are still possible options in the North American
market,” Tsuyoshi Nagano, CEO and president of Japan’s largest
insurer by market capitalisation, told Reuters in an interview
on Friday.

Oct 3, 2014

Japan insurer Tokio Marine sees more M&A opportunities in North America

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings Inc sees many attractive acquisition opportunities in North America, its chief executive said, even after spending more than $7 billion to buy insurance companies there in the last six years.

“There are still possible options in the North American market,” Tsuyoshi Nagano, CEO and president of Japan’s largest insurer by market capitalization, told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Aug 20, 2014

Citigroup seeks to exit Japanese retail banking – source

TOKYO (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is preparing to sell its Japanese retail banking operations, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, as it waves the white flag on a venture plagued by regulatory troubles and anemic lending.

The company which pioneered 24-hour ATMs in Japan and was the only foreign bank to make a major push into its retail banking sector is throwing in the towel after failing to gain enough scale to justify its costs.