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Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

  • Shares of Pentax jumped 7% after Hoya said it would make a tender offer for the Japanesecamera and medical equipment maker, but it remains unclear whether the bid will succeed with Pentax's board split and its president set to resign.

  • The Bank of Japan starts a two-day monetary policy meeting on Monday, with board members seen putting their heads together to prepare for an economic outlook report due later this month.

  • Rod Smyth, chief investment strategist for Wachovia Securities, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that some overseas stocks offer greater growth prospects than their U.S. counterparts.“I think the most important thing that investors have to get their mind around is simply this: Is there going to be a recession in the next couple of years?” Smyth said Thursday. “We know the economy is slowing down. History tells us mid-cycle slowdowns are very good for stocks and that recessions are bad for stocks. If you can get your mind around the fact that we’re in a mid-cycle slowdown then you want to put money to work.”

  • Japanese companies are slightly less optimistic about business conditions than they were three months ago, the Bank of Japan's March tankan survey showed on Monday.

  • HSBC Holdings is set to launch retail banking operations in Japan early next year and plans to open as many as 50 branches within four years, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

  • Japanese nationwide core consumer prices edged down as expected in February from a year ago, the first fall in 10 months, reinforcing the view that a lack of inflation will keep the pace of the BOJ's credit tightening slow.

  • The Tokyo Stock Exchange said on Tuesday that Atsushi Saito, former president of the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, the state-backed corporate turnaround body, will be its next president.

  • 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.