Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

  • General Electric said on Friday it would launch a $1.14 billion tender offer for Sanyo Electric Credit, a Japanese leasing company whose main shareholder is Goldman Sachs Group.

  • Mazda Motor gained on Friday after the Japanese automaker unveiled a new business plan aimed at boosting its operating profit by more than 27% in four years through further product-led growth and accelerated cost cuts.

  • Japan's Hitachi said on Thursday it would close a parts factory in Mexico and cut 4,500 jobs as it aims to shave $300 million in costs in its loss-making hard disk drive business over the next five years.

  • Japan's trade surplus rose 7.7% in February from a year earlier to 979.6 billion yen ($8.34 billion), government data showed on Thursday.

  • Big Japanese manufacturers were less confident about business conditions in the three months to March, a government survey showed on Thursday, prompting concern about the continuing strength of the current economic recovery.

  • David Bianco, U.S. Equities Strategist for UBS, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the S&P 500 offers investors a solid play on the strong global economy.“The S&P 500 has material exposure to the global economy,” Bianco said Wednesday. “I’m often reminding clients that the global economy and business spending are more important to S&P 500 earnings than consumer discretionary spending.”He likes consumer staples such as Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble, but said he’s over-weighted in industrials, technology and energy stocks, especially oil field services.   

  • Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's second-biggest bank, cut its annual profit forecast by a quarter to $4.6 billion on Tuesday after a major borrower fell into financial trouble.

  • The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged Tuesday as widely expected by markets, and analysts will scrutinize the central bank governor's remarks at a news conference later in the day for clues on the timing of the next rate rise.

  • Honda Motor said on Tuesday it would recall about 166,000 vehicles in the U.S. of the Accord, Odyssey and five other models to fix a faulty component in the fuel pump.

  • Japanese TV supplier byd:sign Corp. has filed a lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard at a Texas court, claiming H-P had obstructed byd:sign's flat TV sales in the United States, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

  • Shares in Nikko Cordial traded slightly below the 1,700 yen per share being offered by Citigroup, which said it would not again sweeten its $13.5 billion takeover bid for the brokerage.

  • Citigroup launched its sweetened tender offer for Japan's Nikko Cordial on Wednesday and insisted its $13.6 billion bid is final, even as Nikko's stock again threatened to overshoot the bank's price.

  • Citigroup raised its offer for Nikko Cordial by 26% to $13.4 billion on Tuesday, after Tokyo Stock Exchange's decision not to revoke the brokerage's listing sharply boosted the value of its shares.

  • Japan's economy expanded by 1.3% in the final quarter of last year, revised data showed on Monday, up slightly from a preliminary reading due mainly to companies' capital spending.

  • Japanese retailers Aeon and Daiei said Friday they will announce a capital tie-up, a move that would create the nation's largest retail group.

  • Machinery orders at Japanese firms rose slightly more than expected in January from the previous month, data showed on Friday, signaling that capital spending may continue to underpin a steady economic recovery.

  • Aeon has finalized a deal to take a 15% stake in supermarket chain Daiei, a move that will create Japan's biggest retail group, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.

  • Citigroup's $10.8 billion tender offer to buy Nikko Cordial looks just sweet enough to convince investors in the Japanese brokerage to sell, analysts said on Wednesday.

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Tuesday that a weakened housing market will not have a major impact on the U.S. financial sector, which he described as quite healthy.

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    Citigroup launched a $10.75 billion takeover bid for Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial on Tuesday, offering cash to the scandal-hit firm's shareholders in a deal designed to transform its business in the world's second-biggest economy.