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Feb 26, 2015

Fukoku shuns JGBs after liquidity dries up amid BOJ easing

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co
has slashed its buying of Japanese government bonds because
market liquidity has dried up amid the Bank of Japan’s massive
bond-buying programme, the president of the midsize life insurer
said on Thursday.

Instead of JGBs, Fukoku is likely to continue buying foreign
bonds with hedges against currency swings in the fiscal year
starting in April as it seeks assets that offer higher yields
than domestic debt, Yoshiteru Yoneyama told Reuters.

Feb 23, 2015

Asahi Kasei eyes electric car growth with $2.2 bln Polypore battery deal

TOKYO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Japanese chemicals company Asahi
Kasei Corp has agreed to buy Polypore International
Inc’s energy storage business for $2.2 billion, betting
on the growth of hybrid and electric cars.

Both companies produce lithium-ion battery separators used
in electronic gadgets and automobiles, but Asahi Kasei President
Toshio Asano believes that the type produced by United
States-based Polypore — known as dry process separators — will
become the auto sector’s preferred option because of lower
costs.

Feb 18, 2015

Japan Post agrees to $5.1 billion takeover of Australia’s Toll Holdings

SYDNEY/TOKYO (Reuters) – Financial giant Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd launched its global expansion strategy with its largest ever deal on Wednesday, agreeing a A$6.5 billion ($5.1 billion) takeover of Australian freight and logistics firm Toll Holdings Ltd.

The proposed cash acquisition would give Japan Post a reach spanning 55 countries and a surge in earnings power ahead of a planned listing later this year, as it aims to become a leading international logistics player as well as one of the world’s biggest financial institutions.

Feb 18, 2015

Japan Post agrees $5.1 bln takeover of Australia’s Toll Holdings

SYDNEY/TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Financial giant Japan Post
Holdings Co Ltd launched its global expansion strategy with its
largest ever deal on Wednesday, agreeing a A$6.5 billion ($5.1
billion) takeover of Australian freight and logistics firm Toll
Holdings Ltd.

The proposed cash acquisition would give Japan Post
(IPO-JAPP.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) a reach spanning 55 countries and a surge in
earnings power ahead of a planned listing later this year, as it
aims to become a leading international logistics player as well
as one of the world’s biggest financial institutions.

Feb 10, 2015

Japanese bank MUFG to introduce US-style board-sources

TOKYO, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
aims to add more directors to its board from outside
the bank, people with direct knowledge of the matter said,
taking a step towards a more U.S.-style management structure.

The Japanese government has been calling for more companies
to appoint outside board members to help to promote
shareholders’ interests at a time when big firms in the country
are sitting on record piles of cash.

Feb 10, 2015

Japan Post Bank, Insurance allocation of govt bonds falls

Feb 10 (Reuters) – Japan Post’s financial units reduced
holdings of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) amid sharp falls in
yields, the postal giant’s latest earnings shows, joining other
big institutional investors seeking assets that offer higher
returns.

At Japan Post Bank Co Ltd, one of the postal giant’s
financial units, holdings of JGBs fell to 109.9 trillion yen
($926.5 billion) at the end of December, down from 126.4
trillion yen at the end of March, Japan Post Holdings Co
(IPO-JAPP.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said in its September-December results.

Feb 6, 2015

Japan insurers in talks to buy 5 pct stake in Resona bank

TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Japanese insurers Nippon Life
and Dai-ichi Life are in talks with local
banking group Resona Holdings Inc to buy a 5 percent
stake worth about 80 billion yen ($682 million), people with
knowledge of the matter said.

The companies, Japan’s biggest life insurance firms, expect
to finalise their discussions with Resona by end of the month,
the sources said, declining to be named due to the
confidentiality of the matter.

Feb 5, 2015

Suntory plans to double Beam spirits sales to $10 bln in 5 years

TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd
aims to double revenue at its Beam spirits business
to $10 billion in five years as it capitalises on the growing
popularity of drinks like whisky and bourbon and forays further
into developing markets, its new president said.

Suntory last year bought U.S. bourbon maker Beam for $16
billion, propelling the company to rank No. 3 in the global
spirits market after Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Feb 5, 2015

Japan Tobacco to buy back shares, as investor presses for cash back

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Japan Tobacco is buying
back its own shares worth up to 100 billion yen ($852.73
million) and paying investors a higher annual dividend, citing a
goal of boosting shareholder returns.

The moves represent a partial nod by Japan Tobacco to
demands by activist investor the Children’s Investment Fund
(TCI), the company’s second-biggest shareholder, which has been
pressing for a return of cash to shareholders.

Feb 4, 2015

Japan Tobacco says to end beverage business due to lack of scale

TOKYO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Japan Tobacco Inc (JT) is
pulling out of the beverage business after failing to gain scale
in a mature domestic soft drinks market, and as the former state
monopoly focuses on its overseas tobacco operations.

JT, known for its “Roots” canned coffee and “Momono
Tennen-sui” flavoured bottled water in Japan, said on Wednesday
it will terminate production and sales of beverages by the end
of September.