WAKKANAI, Japan (Reuters) – First the commercial fisheries began shutting down in this hardscrabble corner of Japan’s northern coast. Then tourism fizzled.
Now, the small-town bank that serves Wakkanai, at the tip of Hokkaido, is grappling with a problem common throughout Japan’s financial system: to survive years of deflation it has had to stray far from its core mission of making loans, and the easy investment income it has come to rely on is looking shaky.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest banks got a pop in quarterly profits from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic-revival policies, but the gains reflected surging stock prices while loan growth remained limp, further evidence that “Abenomics” has not yet stoked lasting economic activity.
The sharply improved April-June results at the three megabanks – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – showed that the effect of the massive monetary easing and hefty government spending over recent months remains largely confined to financial markets.
TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Inc, Japan’s top lender by assets, and No. 2 Mizuho
Financial Group Inc said their quarterly net profits
had risen by more than a third, driven by a rally in Japanese
stocks that pushed up the value of their equity portfolios.
MUFG and Mizuho join third-ranked Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
Group Inc in reporting higher profits for April-June,
after expectations for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic
policies propelled Tokyo stocks to an over five-year high in
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokio Marine Holdings Inc (8766.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is seeking acquisitions in the United States and Mexico to spread out its risk, the CEO of Japan’s largest property-casualty insurer by market value said, as rivals go after growth closer to home in Southeast Asia.
With sizable business in Britain and North America, Tokio Marine is currently the most geographically diverse Japanese insurer. CEO and President Tsuyoshi Nagano told Reuters Tokio Marine was keen to further expand abroad to diversify its risk, rather than to offset weak growth prospects at home.
TOKYO/HONG KONG, July 26 (Reuters) – Meiji Yasuda Life
Insurance Co has agreed to pay about $700 million to buy a 15
percent stake Thai Life Insurance Co, underscoring the rising
appetite of Japanese companies for deals in the rapidly
expanding economies of Southeast.
Meiji Yasuda’s purchase will make it the fourth financial
services acquisition by a Japanese firm in Southeast Asia this
year, bringing the year-to-date total value of Japanese M&A
deals in the region to about $6.6 billion.
TOKYO (Reuters) – “Abenomics” has convinced Ayako Onishi and her husband that now is the time to buy their first home.
The couple, who had their first child last year and are looking to move into Tokyo from the suburbs, are part of a rapidly growing number of people looking to buy houses and apartments in the wake of aggressive economic policies pushed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is set to cement his hold on power with a big upper house election victory this weekend.
TOKYO, July 5 (Reuters) – Shinsei Bank Ltd plans to
debut Japan’s first real estate investment trust (REIT)
dedicated to building healthcare and housing facilities for the
elderly next year to meet growing demand from the world’s
fastest ageing population.
The REIT would initially purchase assets worth 100 billion
yen ($1 billion), Shinsei Bank President Shigeki Toma told
Reuters, adding that the amount could double or triple within a
TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya Pcl BAY.BK for up to 560 billion yen ($5.61 billion) as Japanese lenders expand into fast-growing Southeast Asian economies to beat slower growth at home.
MUFG’s purchase of up to 75 percent of Thailand’s fifth largest lender would be the biggest acquisition by a Japanese bank in Southeast Asia. It also ends General Electric Co’s (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) six-year-old investment in Ayudhya, with GE raising $2.41 billion by selling its stake in the Thai bank in two tranches.
TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co has entered into exclusive talks to buy a 15 percent stake in Thai Life Insurance Co for around $700 million, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as Japanese insurers step up their presence in Southeast Asia.
Meiji Yasuda, Japan’s second-largest life insurer by premium income after Nippon Life Insurance Co, beat Sumitomo Life Insurance Co to enter final negotiations, in an auction that had attracted private equity firms Carlyle Group (CG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), KKR & Co (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and CVC Capital Partners, the people said.
TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Suntory Beverage and Food
Ltd will raise 388 billion yen ($4 billion) after it set its IPO
price near the bottom of its marketing range, hurt by concerns
about its valuation and weak appetite amid market volatility.
The food and soft drinks unit of Suntory Holdings Ltd set
the price of its initial public offering at 3,100 yen per share,
compared with its 3,000-3,800 yen indicative range, it said in a
regulatory filing on Monday.