Japan

Canadian aerospace company Bombardier has announced the sale of its regional jet program to Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for $550 million, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. The company is seeking to exit the commercial plane market and focus on business jets and its large rail segment. Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said Tuesday the sale signifies the completion of the transformation of its aerospace business.

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Japan’s financial regulator is warming to a junk bond market. Debate has been heating up in the country about junk bonds after the first such publicly offered note in the nation priced last month by Aiful Corp., a consumer lender that teetered on the verge of bankruptcy a decade ago, Bloomberg News reported. With negative rates persisting into a fourth year and showing no sign of abating, investors are increasingly under pressure to take on more risk to secure returns.

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The eurozone’s anemic growth and inflation mean it’s probably already experiencing its own “Japanification,” and escape could prove hard if the Asian nation’s track record is any guide, according to ING Group, The Japan Times reported. Europe’s situation has long left it open to comparisons with Japan in the 1990s. In a report Monday, ING lists similarities including an increase in government debt, a buildup of bad loans at banks, an aging population and huge monetary policy loosening.

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The slump in Japanese exports accelerated during May on the back of an escalation in global trade tensions and the effects of a lengthy holiday to mark the ascension of a new emperor, the Financial Times reported. Data published by Japan’s Finance Ministry on Wednesday showed that exports from the world’s third-biggest economy fell by 7.8 per cent during the month compared to a year ago, marking the sixth month of contraction in a row.

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A consumer loan company priced Japan’s first publicly-offered junk bond on Friday with an interest rate of just 0.99 per cent, a coupon that highlights the country’s institutional desperation for yield and the increasingly eye-catching distortions caused by the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy, the Financial Times reported.

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Japan’s negative interest rates have upended many conventions in the local credit market and another was broken on Friday when the nation’s first publicly offered junk bond priced -- at the super-low interest rate of 0.99%. Aiful Corp., a consumer lender that teetered on the edge of bankruptcy a decade ago, sold 15 billion yen ($137 million) of speculative-grade notes due in 1.5 years, Bloomberg News reported.

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Aiful Corp., the consumer lender brought to the edge of bankruptcy a decade ago, is on the verge of selling Japan’s first yen-denominated junk bond in the public markets, showing how local investors are willing to take on more risks as negative interest rates linger, Bloomberg News reported. The issuance would be a milestone in Japan’s bond market, where companies haven’t felt compelled to sell speculative-grade notes as they’ve traditionally had close ties with banks, who can be more forgiving than bondholders in tough times.

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India’s debt-ridden Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) said on Sunday that Japan’s Orix Corp has expressed an interest in buying out the remaining 51% stake in IL&FS’s wind energy assets, Reuters reported. Orix Corp plans to buy the stake to exercise its right under the terms of an existing agreement that allows Orix to match the price offered by the highest bidder for buying a stake in the wind power plants, IL&FS said.

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With more than $140 billion in debt and a junk-level credit rating, SoftBank Group Corp. might not look like an obvious candidate for more borrowing. Yet bankers say they are still eager to lend to the world’s largest technology investor, The Wall Street Journal reported. One reason is the big fees a relationship with SoftBank can bring in—especially the hundreds of millions of dollars in investment-banking fees generated each year by Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s constant stream of deals.

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SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to invest about $230 million in Brazilian online lender Creditas as the firm expands investments in Latin America, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. SoftBank is planning to do the deal via a joint investment from its Vision Fund and newly created Innovation Fund, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. No final decisions have been made, and SoftBank may still decide against the transaction, they said. SoftBank and Creditas declined to comment.

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