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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.

Aug 19, 2014

Citigroup considers sale of Japan retail unit – source

TOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc is considering
the sale of its Japanese retail unit and has approached about 10
banks, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on
Wednesday, as the U.S. banking company struggles to turn around
its Japanese operations.

Citigroup’s move came as Japan’s banking industry suffers
from weak loan demand and falling interest margins. Despite a
recent pickup in lending, deposits still overwhelm loans as
businesses and households remain cautious on spending.

Jul 31, 2014

Japan’s top banks see profits fall on fading stock boom

TOKYO (Reuters) – Two of Japan’s three biggest banks saw profits fall at double-digit rates in the first quarter as gains in the value of shares the banks’ owned grew at a far slower rate than last year, when government pro-growth pledges sparked a share price surge.

The biggest lender, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), however, reported only a modest decline after managing to build on last year’s stock-related gains.

Jul 30, 2014

SMFG Q1 profit falls 20 pct as Abenomics stock boom fades

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
Inc (SMFG) reported a 20 percent decline in quarterly
profit as gains in the value of stock holdings paled in
comparison with the year prior, when prices rose after
government promises of economic growth.

Japan’s No.3 bank by assets profited, like its rivals, from
a stock market surge after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office
at the end of 2012 pledging aggressive growth measures. But
price moves have become less pronounced as sentiment toward
“Abenomics” cooled.

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 4, 2014

Sapporo to revamp popular Goku Zero drink after tax snag

TOKYO, June 4 (Reuters) – Beermaker Sapporo Holdings Ltd
said on Wednesday it will tweak the production process
for its Goku Zero beer-like drink and relaunch it following a
tax snag that may cost the group an extra 11.6 billion yen ($113
million) in liquor taxes.

Japan’s fourth-largest brewer said tax authorities had
requested data on the production methods for Goku Zero, which is
classified as “third beer”, a drink made from malt alternatives
or a mix of low-malt beer and other alcohol, and taxed at barely
one-third the rate of regular beers.