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Jul 10, 2012

Mitsubishi suspends two London traders over Libor

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has suspended two London-based traders as a result of a probe into the manipulation of interbank lending rates that is affecting a dozen or more major banks around the world.

BTMU, a core commercial banking unit of Mitsubishi UFJ, said the suspensions – which took effect last week – were not related to work done for the Japanese bank.

Jul 9, 2012

Japan’s biggest banks target Korean conglomerates for growth

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese banks, facing sluggish loan demand at home, are increasingly targeting South Korea where conglomerates such as Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hyundai Motor (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are seeking funds to expand globally.

With rival European lenders retreating as the region’s debt crisis heads towards its fourth year, well-capitalized Japanese banks find themselves at a competitive advantage. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (SMFG), the country’s biggest banks, have formed teams to track the funding needs of South Korean firms looking to build chip factories and auto assembly lines abroad.

Jun 20, 2012

Mizuho agrees to buy WestLB Brazil unit for $380 million

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy a Brazilian unit of Germany’s WestLB WDLG.UL, the latest move by a Japanese bank to snap up assets amid the euro zone crisis.

Mizuho, Japan’s second-largest lender by assets, did not disclose the terms of the deal, but a source with knowledge of the matter said it was paying about 30 billion yen ($380 million) for the 100 percent stake in the Brazilian bank.

Jun 20, 2012

Mizuho agrees to buy WestLB Brazil unit – source

TOKYO, June 20 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group
has agreed to buy a Brazilian unit of Germany’s WestLB
for about 30 billion yen ($380 million), a source said on
Wednesday, the latest move by a Japanese bank to snap up assets
amid the euro zone crisis.

Japanese banks, which have little exposure to Europe’s
troubled economies, are aggressively expanding lending overseas
and buying up assets as European rivals retreat to weather the
turmoil at home.

Jun 15, 2012

Renesas close to securing support but outlook murky

TOKYO, June 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s Renesas is in
final talks to receive $1.3 billion in financial support from
major shareholders and banks, sources said, briefly sending its
shares up sharply but failing to dispel worries about the
struggling chipmaker’s long-term prospects.

Renesas, hit by a strong yen and fierce competition from
rivals such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, is
being urged to take tough restructuring steps after sinking to a
62.6 billion yen ($790 million) net loss in the fiscal year that
ended in March.

Jun 14, 2012

Japan’s Renesas set to receive $630 million in loans: report

TOKYO (Reuters) – Loss-making Renesas Electronics Corp (6723.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in final talks to secure a 50 billion yen ($630 million) loan from four banks after its major shareholders refused to inject fresh capital, the Mainichi newspaper said on Thursday.

Shares in Renesas, the world’s fifth largest chipmaker that is battling high costs and strong overseas rivals, surged as much as 21 percent on the report to a one-month high.

Jun 14, 2012

Japan’s Renesas set to receive $630 mln in loans-report

TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) – Loss-making Renesas Electronics
Corp is in final talks to secure a 50 billion yen ($630
million) loan from four banks after its major shareholders
refused to inject fresh capital, the Mainichi newspaper said on
Thursday.

Shares in Renesas, the world’s fifth largest chipmaker that
is battling high costs and strong overseas rivals, surged as
much as 21 percent on the report to a one-month high.

May 26, 2012

Renesas aims to sell chip plant, shed 12,000 jobs -source

TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters) – Japanese chipmaker Renesas
Electronics Corp plans to sell off loss-making
operations and cut its payroll by at least 12,000, a source
close to the matter told Reuters on Saturday, as the company
battles high costs and nimbler foreign rivals.

Sources also confirmed that Renesas, the world’s largest
maker of microcontroller chips for cars, aims to raise more than
100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to pay for restructuring costs
and will take the plan to Hitachi Ltd and its other
major shareholders as early as next week.

May 16, 2012

Japan firms, Tepco eye $4.4 billion stake in Australia LNG project

TOKYO (Reuters) – A group of Japanese firms is in talks to pay $4.4 billion for a stake in Australia’s Wheatstone gas field that had been set aside for bailed-out nuclear operator Tepco, as the country looks to shore up long-term energy supplies.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) (9501.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is now under state control following last year’s earthquake and tsunami that devastated its Fukushima nuclear plant, had planned to buy the stake to secure additional supplies of liquefied natural gas.

May 15, 2012

Japanese banks report profit rise, see tougher year

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s big banks reported a rise in annual profits on Tuesday, helped by a stock market rally and lower credit costs, but forecast a tougher year ahead, putting further pressure on their overseas drive to fill the gap.

The big three lenders – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – are not expected to see the hefty bond trading gains and very low bad loans booked that have boosted profits in recent years.