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May 15, 2015

Japan’s top lenders boost shareholder returns after upbeat earnings

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s top banks are stepping up
dividend payments after reporting better-than-forecast earnings,
responding to calls for bigger shareholder returns.

Japanese companies are under intense investor scrutiny
lately to justify how their earnings are utilized, and have been
criticised for hoarding too much cash. Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe’s economic growth initiatives are putting additional
pressure, as they try to stimulate money flow among businesses
and households through more spending, investment and wage hikes.

May 15, 2015

Mizuho posts better-than-forecast profit, raises dividend

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc
reported on Friday a smaller than forecast 11 percent
fall in annual profit, helped by a strong stock market and its
overseas expansion.

The bank raised its annual dividend to 7.5 yen per share for
the year ended in March, from 7 yen it had said previously,
responding to investor demand for higher shareholder returns.

May 13, 2015

Japan lender SMFG’s profit better than own forecast, ups dividend

TOKYO, May 13 (Reuters) – Japanese lender Sumitomo Mitsui
Financial Group posted a smaller-than-forecast drop in
annual profit on strong bond trading gains and lower bad loan
costs, and paid a more generous dividend heeding calls for
bigger shareholder returns.

Japan’s third-largest lender by assets said on Wednesday net
profit for the year ended in March fell 9.8 percent to 753.6
billion yen ($6.3 billion) from 835.4 billion yen a year
earlier. The bank had forecast a 16 percent fall in net profit.

Apr 23, 2015

Japan Post taps ex-Citibank Japan chairman as bank unit head

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) – Japan Post Holdings Co
named former chairman of Citibank Japan Masatsugu
Nagato president of Japan Post Bank ahead of planned IPOs by the
state-owned mail and financial giant and its two subsidiaries
later this year.

Nagato, 66, is scheduled to become president of Japan Post’s
banking unit on May 11 pending approval at a shareholder meeting
on the same day, the company said on Thursday.

Apr 22, 2015

Japan’s ANA to take stake in Skymark, widens lead over JAL

TOKYO, April 22 (Reuters) – ANA Holdings Inc has
agreed to acquire a stake of up to 19.9 percent in bankrupt
budget carrier Skymark Airlines Inc, gaining access
to highly coveted landing slots and strengthening its lead over
rival Japan Airlines Co.

Under the deal, Japanese private equity firm Integral Corp,
which has provided funds to keep Skymark in business since its
bankruptcy in January, will hold just over 50 percent.

Apr 18, 2015

Japan’s ANA Holdings to buy stake in Skymark Airlines

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest airline, ANA Holdings Inc (9202.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), will buy a stake of less than 20 percent in Skymark Airlines Inc (SKALF.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as part of a rescue plan for the bankrupt domestic budget carrier, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Private equity firm Integral Corp has secured a majority stake, according to the sources. ANA will acquire less than 20 percent. If it held 20 percent or more, it could be forced to surrender some of its landing rights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Apr 18, 2015

Japan’s ANA Holdings to buy stake in Skymark Airlines

TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest airline, ANA
Holdings Inc, will buy a stake of less than 20 percent
in Skymark Airlines Inc as part of a rescue plan for
the bankrupt domestic budget carrier, people familiar with the
matter told Reuters.

Private equity firm Integral Corp has secured a majority
stake, according to the sources. ANA will acquire less than 20
percent. If it held 20 percent or more, it could be forced to
surrender some of its landing rights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Apr 13, 2015

Japan’s Orix scouting for asset management buys overseas

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Orix Corp (8591.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is scouting for acquisitions to achieve a goal of doubling its $260 billion asset management business and is looking overseas for targets after missing the boat at home, its chief executive said.

Orix, with a diverse portfolio of businesses, including a bank, an insurer and a professional baseball team, made a big bet on asset management in 2013, when it bought investment manager Robeco from Dutch cooperative lender Rabobank [RABO.UL] for about 1.9 billion euros. It is now seeking to scale up.

Apr 10, 2015

Nippon Life seeks acquisition targets including asset management firms

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nippon Life Insurance Co [NPNLI.UL] is looking for acquisition targets both in developed and emerging markets, including asset managers in the United States, as the domestic-focused insurer seeks to diversify sources of income.

Nippon Life’s growing interest in overseas insurers and asset management comes as Japanese life insurers face diminishing returns from Japanese government bond (JGB) investment and weak prospects in their mainstay death benefit insurance sales.

Mar 31, 2015

Japan bank body head – fog remains over global regulation

TOKYO (Reuters) – A global regulatory review on how to measure default risks on loans and other assets could have a negative impact on bank operations, potentially curbing lending, the new head of Japan’s banking industry body said.

Proposed changes in how to allocate risk weightings and other risk calculations “could put considerable constraints on financial institutions,” Yasuhiro Sato, who became chairman of Japanese Bankers Association on Wednesday, said in an interview.