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Feb 24, 2012

Japan shuts fund manager on fears client losses hidden

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s financial regulator
on Friday temporarily shut a manager of corporate pensions on
suspicion it may have hidden losses in the $2.6 billion it
manages mainly on behalf of smaller firms, and flagged an
industry probe.

The Financial Services Agency said it froze the assets of
Tokyo-based AIJ Investment Advisors and ordered a halt to its
operations for a month because AIJ was unable to properly report
the status of its portfolio.

Feb 21, 2012

Mazda to raise $2 billion in share issue, loans: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to raise $2.1 billion to shore up its finances and invest in a new plant in Mexico, financial sources said on Tuesday — a bigger-than-expected fund raising that sent its shares tumbling 13 percent.

The loss-making automaker aims to raise 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) through a public share offering and 70 billion yen through subordinated loans from banks, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Feb 19, 2012

Japan’s Mizuho to cooperate with StanBank-sources

JOHANNESBURG/TOKYO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Japan’s Mizuho
Financial Group will sign an agreement to cooperate
with South Africa’s Standard Bank in corporate lending
as early as this week, according to two people familiar with the
matter.

The non-exclusive agreement will focus on bringing more of
Mizuho’s Japanese clients to Africa and Standard Bank’s clients
to Japan, said one of the people, both of whom declined to be
identified because the information is not public.

Feb 16, 2012

Japan bank lobby head warns future JGB risks

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Japan could face its own
sovereign debt problems within a decade unless it speeds up
efforts to improve its fiscal health, the head of its banking
lobby said on Thursday.

Factors supporting the nation’s debt finance could become a
trigger of problems for Japanese government bonds, said
Katsunori Nagayasu, chairman of the Japanese Bankers
Association.

Feb 16, 2012

Japan assets may impede ING’s Asia sale

HONG KONG/TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – ING’s Japan unit
is proving to be a stumbling block in the auction of its Asia
insurance business that is expected to fetch more than
6 billion euros, with sources saying the Dutch group may have no
choice but to retain the Japan unit for now.

Japan is one of ING’s two biggest Asian operations,
so what becomes of it in the event of a sale is important.
The concern has to do with the 18 billion euros worth of
high-guarantee variable annuity policies the Japan operation has
on the books.

Feb 15, 2012

SMFG: few assets being offered at attractive prices

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it has been fielding lots of asset offers, about $100 billion worth since early last year, but attractive deals are few and far between as European banks were not desperate enough to embark on a fire sale.

SMFG and other Japanese banks are well positioned to snap up assets being shed by European players as they have little exposure to the region’s sovereign debt woes and access to cheaper funding.

Feb 14, 2012

Japan SMBC’s bid for WestLB assets fails – sources

HONG KONG/TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Talks between
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) and WestLB
over the sale of the German bank’s corporate lending business
have collapsed mainly due to differences over valuations, two
sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

SMBC had submitted a final bid earlier in February which
landed short of the expectations of WestLB’s owners — regional
savings banks and the German state of North Rhine Westphalia.

Feb 2, 2012

Top Japan bank plans for JGB sell-off, no near-term shift seen

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top banking group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), has drawn up a contingency plan that flags 2016 as the time when the nation’s current account may slide into deficit and trigger a government bond sell-off, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Asahi newspaper said a plan prepared by a unit of the group — Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ — late last year estimated that 10-year bond yields could rise to around 3.5 percent in about four years’ time from about 1 percent today.

Feb 1, 2012

MUFG Q3 profit falls 39 pct, hurt by tax write-down

TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group (MUFG), Japan’s biggest bank by assets, posted a
39 percent fall in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday, hurt
by a tax asset write-down and weak lending at home.

While MUFG and Japanese rivals continue to see weak loan
demand at home, where lending by the big banks fell in December
for the 26th month in a row and businesses keep a tight rein on
spending, they are seeing solid growth in overseas loan
balances, helped partly by a retrenchment by European banks.

Feb 1, 2012

month profit jumps on Morgan Stanley stake

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s biggest bank by assets, posted a 39 percent fall in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday, hurt by a tax asset write-down and weak lending at home.

While MUFG and Japanese rivals continue to see weak loan demand at home, where lending by the big banks fell in December for the 26th month in a row and businesses keep a tight rein on spending, they are seeing solid growth in overseas loan balances, helped partly by a retrenchment by European banks.