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Apr 18, 2015

Japan’s ANA Holdings to buy stake in Skymark Airlines

TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) – Japan’s biggest airline, ANA
Holdings Inc, will buy a stake of less than 20 percent
in Skymark Airlines Inc as part of a rescue plan for
the bankrupt domestic budget carrier, people familiar with the
matter told Reuters.

Private equity firm Integral Corp has secured a majority
stake, according to the sources. ANA will acquire less than 20
percent. If it held 20 percent or more, it could be forced to
surrender some of its landing rights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.

Apr 13, 2015

Japan’s Orix scouting for asset management buys overseas

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Orix Corp (8591.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is scouting for acquisitions to achieve a goal of doubling its $260 billion asset management business and is looking overseas for targets after missing the boat at home, its chief executive said.

Orix, with a diverse portfolio of businesses, including a bank, an insurer and a professional baseball team, made a big bet on asset management in 2013, when it bought investment manager Robeco from Dutch cooperative lender Rabobank [RABO.UL] for about 1.9 billion euros. It is now seeking to scale up.

Apr 10, 2015

Nippon Life seeks acquisition targets including asset management firms

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nippon Life Insurance Co [NPNLI.UL] is looking for acquisition targets both in developed and emerging markets, including asset managers in the United States, as the domestic-focused insurer seeks to diversify sources of income.

Nippon Life’s growing interest in overseas insurers and asset management comes as Japanese life insurers face diminishing returns from Japanese government bond (JGB) investment and weak prospects in their mainstay death benefit insurance sales.

Mar 31, 2015

Japan bank body head – fog remains over global regulation

TOKYO (Reuters) – A global regulatory review on how to measure default risks on loans and other assets could have a negative impact on bank operations, potentially curbing lending, the new head of Japan’s banking industry body said.

Proposed changes in how to allocate risk weightings and other risk calculations “could put considerable constraints on financial institutions,” Yasuhiro Sato, who became chairman of Japanese Bankers Association on Wednesday, said in an interview.

Mar 18, 2015

Japan Post president to double as head of banking unit

March 18 (Reuters) – Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd
said on Wednesday President Taizo Nishimuro will double as head
of its banking unit, as the state-owned giant has not been able
to find a successor to the current top.

Nishimuro said the search to replace Japan Post Bank
President Yoshiyuki Izawa is going on and the company wants to
decide the top as soon as possible. Izawa, a former Mitsui & Co
executive, is stepping down at the end of March.

Mar 12, 2015

Japan regional bank Shizuoka sees no merit in merger with rivals

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Shizuoka Bank (8355.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sees no merit in merging with rival regional lenders for its long-term survival and will instead focus on boosting its online presence, its president said.

“Banks’ core business is deposit-taking and lending and it is not so profitable now,” Katsunori Nakanishi, president and CEO of Japan’s fourth-largest regional lender, told Reuters in an interview.

Mar 5, 2015

Lenders want bold overhaul of Japan’s Sharp as another bailout looms

TOKYO (Reuters) – Loss-making Japanese electronics firm Sharp Corp meets its main banks on Thursday in an effort to secure its second major bailout since 2012, betting they will have little choice but to pay up despite their call for more drastic overhauls.

Sharp Chief Executive Kozo Takahashi will meet officials from Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, hoping to discuss further funding and buy time, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

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

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.