Japan

Credit Suisse has launched legal action against SoftBank in an effort to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars it claims it is owed by the Japanese investor, marking a further deterioration in a relationship that has grown increasingly acrimonious following the collapse of Greensill Capital, Asia Nikkei reported. The lawsuit relates to $440m in funds that were owed to the Swiss bank's wealthy customers by Katerra, a U.S. construction company.

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Japan’s retail sales increased for a third straight month, as easing virus concerns fueled spending by consumers before the emergence of the omicron variant, Bloomberg News reported. Sales advanced 1.2% in November from the previous month, as shoppers spent more on clothing and motor vehicles, the industry ministry reported Monday. Economists had expected a 1.3% overall gain.
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Japan is offering oil from its national reserves as other nations kick off a coordinated release from strategic stockpiles to rein in prices, Bloomberg News reported. A government tender offered Oman crude from the strategic reserves in Shibushi for delivery between March and June, the trade ministry said in a statement dated Dec. 27. The tender didn’t specify a volume, give a reason for the sale, or confirm it was part of a U.S.-led initiative.
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Over the last two years, Masataka Yoshimura has poured money into the custom-suit business his family founded more than a century ago. He has upgraded his factory, installed automated inventory management systems and retrained workers who have been replaced by software and robots. Japan’s prime minister, however, wants him to do one more thing: Give his employees a substantial raise, the New York Times reported. The reasoning is simple. Wage growth has been stagnant for decades in Japan, the wealth gap is widening and the quickest fix is nudging people like Mr.
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The Bank of Japan is set to keep monetary policy ultra-loose on Friday but may dial back emergency pandemic-funding, less than 48 hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled an imminent end to stimulus as policymakers respond to soaring global inflation, Reuters reported. The BOJ's anticipated decision, underpinned by cautious optimism that the economic damage wrought by coronavirus crisis is gradually healing, will put it in line with major central banks' moves to phase out crisis-mode policies, Reuters reported.
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida indicated he could consider writing guidance for companies on share buybacks, triggering a dip in the nation’s stock market that’s been boosted by such repurchases in recent years, Bloomberg News reported. Kishida said introducing “guidelines” on buybacks would be appropriate, in response to a question in parliament from opposition lawmaker Takayuki Ochiai. The Japanese premier added that caution would be needed in implementing any strict regulations.
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Japan pledged $3.4 billion in its largest contribution to the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, to ensure the recovery of low-income countries from the COVID-19 pandemic, finance ministry officials said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The pledge came as Japan hosted an online meeting on the 20th replenishment of the IDA, brought forward by a year at the initiative of the world's third biggest economy, amid concern about shortage of funds to boost vaccines and medical systems.
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The Bank of Japan is expected to decide as early as next week to scale back emergency funding deployed last year to combat a pandemic-induced cash crunch, sources say, following other central banks in gradually phasing out crisis-mode policies, Reuters reported. At a two-day rate review ending on Dec. 17, the BOJ is set to maintain ultra-loose monetary policy but debate whether to extend its emergency pandemic-relief programmes beyond the current the March 2022 deadline.
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The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan in November hit a 56-year low for the month, thanks to the government’s continued financing support amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a private survey showed on Wednesday, the Japan Times reported. The figure dropped 10.3% from a year before to 510, down for the sixth straight month, according to the survey by Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. Total liabilities left by failed companies fell 7.8% to ¥94,101 million. The survey covered business failures involving liabilities of ¥10 million or more.
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The Bank of Japan is likely to narrow the scope of its Covid aid, but keep it in place for longer in an attempt to focus the measures on businesses that still need help, says a former top official, Bloomberg News reported. “A partial extension is possible,” said Eiji Maeda, who led the central bank’s pandemic crisis response before stepping down from his post as executive director in May last year. “Funding is becoming an issue that’s focused on some businesses and some sectors.
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