Bystander’s View on Japan #12, August 20th 2012

TOPICS OF THE WEEK: SE Asian Players: No More Junior Varsity                   On August 14’s issue of Wall Street Journal, there was a big article on SE Asian companies’ activities on international M&A. The report mentions and listed the top 10 cross-border M&A acquisition by SE Asian companies in 2011 and 2012. 

DBS’s (Singapore) acquisition of PT Bank Danamon Indonesia for $7,340 million was ranked first.   Petronas’s (Malaysia) acquisition of Progress Energy Resourcing (Canada) for $5,714 million was ranked secondThere is a large picture of Battersea Power Station, which was used by Pink Floyd album cover, stating that SP Setia and Sime Darby bought the land for $620 million for a real estate development. 

                  Increased cash generated by higher growth in the home countries, it is natural for SE Asian giants to expand outside the region through M&A. It is, however,  relatively easy to buy a company and/or assets. The real task is to integrate and value add after the merger/purchase. The management capability will be the essence of success, and we have to watch the outcomes of those acquisition carefully. MARKETS

                     August 17    %Change

    NIKKEI     9162.50   +3.04

    TOPIX       765.81      +2.54 

TSE has been increased because of overseas-investors’ money inflow. The market is supported by the sentiment, not by the improved corporate performance. ECONOMY

Generally speaking, sentiment is better on Japanese economy. Thanks to hot weather, summer sale has been good. People may spend more during summer holidays. 


The laws to increase the sales tax passed parliament two weeks ago. Last week was a off-week for political battle. But the end of summer will likely to be the end of Noda administartion. Noda is reported to give  promise to Tanigaki, the opposition party leader, to dissolve the diet and have the general election.

Many political analysts are saying the general election is inevitable in September 2012.




WSJを真面目に読む August 13-16, 2012 (番外編)

一週間、WSJに触れることができませんでした。月曜は母親の墓参。火曜日からは山籠りをしていました。もっとも近い店(コンビニです。全国で均一のサービスを提供している。素晴らしい!)まで徒歩15分。日経がやっとで英字新聞はありませんでした。 月曜から木曜までのWSJの記事で、おもに日本関係を中心に取り上げます。


August 13, 2012

Korea-Japan ties are tense over islets (竹島関連)

Mr. Lee’s visit to the Liancourt Rocks, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, raised the temparature on a long-simmering territorial dispute over a barely inhabitable place place of unproved economic value- but that both Korean and Japanese consider a symbol of their sovereign rights.

Liancourt Rocks: 1849年にフランス人が付けたリアンクール岩礁というのが



Japan increases national sales tax to tackle debt (消費増税関連)

Japan, burdened with the highest debt load of any developed nation, on Friday took its biggest step in years to contain the problem, approving a plan to double the national sales tax by 2015 to 10% from 5%.


Investors piling into corporate bonds (社債市場に資金集まる)

In July, TransCanada PipeLines sold $500 million of 10-year bonds to investors. The interest rate: just 2.5%, down sharply from the yield of more than 3% that investors demanded on the energy company’s bonds as recently as December.


August 14, 2012

Southeast Asia flexes deal-making muscle (力を示し始めた東南アジアの投資家)

              The multibillion-dollar tussle between Heineken NV and Thai investors for control of one of Southeast Asia’s biggest beer empires is showcasing the latest shift in Asia’s balance of power…

             Southeast Asian companies were considered the junior varsity players of Asia…

        flex one’s muscle: 力こぶを作る、力を見せつける

    tussle: 激しい戦い、取っ組み合い

              varsity: 代表チーム、 junior varsity: 二軍

              この記事の中に、ロンドンのBattersea Powerstationをマレーシアの投資家が買収という説明あり。今は使われていない発電所の印象的な写真あり、この案件を率いているのはPNBです。


Japan GDP points to a shaky recovery (日本第二四半期GDPは急減速)

              Japanese economic growth slowed more sharply than expected in April-June quarter as exports and consumer spending lost steam, raising the further deceleration for the rest of the year.


Europe banks’ capital booster (欧州銀行の自己資本増強策)

              A handful of European banks have figured out a way to boost their profit and capital ahead of new regulations: grab back their bonds.



August 15, 2012

How Japan lost electronics crown (日本の家電はどうして王座を陥落したか)

              Dethroned. Sony, Panasonic and Sharp are no longer the kings of electronics. After decades of profit, they combined to lose about $20 billion in the last fiscal year.

              be dethroned: 座を奪われる


Loophole could thwart Japan tax rise (消費増税の付帯条件について)

             The provision in the law says the government should consider the overall economic situation before implementing the increase and calls for policies to achieve annual average economic growth of about 3% in nominal terms, or about 2% in real terms…


Buyers beware: Goodwill games (有名米企業も高値掴みの買収に伴うのれん償却大)

              Multibillion-dollars write-offs by Microsoft Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co., and Boston Scientific Corp. for poorly performing acquisitions prompt the question: Who’s next?


August 16, 2012

Tensions rise in spat over islands

              Strains in Japan’s relations with neighbors were on full display Wednesday as it sought to commemorate the end of World War II: China said it would protest the detention of 14 Hong Kong activists who embarrassed Tokyo with a high-profile landing on a disputed island, and both South Korea and China issued fresh criticism of its wartime past.

              spat: 喧嘩、ささいなこと


Japan cuts out in smartphones

              No longer pioneers: Japan was early leader in music, games and video but has since been eclipsed by newer technologies.





Mobile payments go retail

              More than a dozen big retailers announced plans Wednesday to jointly develop a mobile-payments network that will battle similar services from Google Inc. and other companies.




Bystander’s View on Japan #11, August 13th 2012


ROE: Back to Basics

This week is a OBON week in Japan when most of the factories and offices take a summer break.

Stock trading will be quite light. So, taking this opportunity, I would like to analyze Japanese stocks according to ROE.

 Recent issue of NIKKEI Veritus has risted up their top picks by screening, the stocks which have higher Yen 200 billion market capitalization, and which have higher expected ROE comparing past 5-year average and also previous year.

 Top 10 stocks are as follows.

               Company        (Code)   Expected ROE%

        1.    Oracle Japan  (4716)       46.2

        2.    Daito Trust      (1878)       32.3

        3.    M3                   (2413)       31.3

        4.    Marubeni         (8002)       23.5

        5.    Rakuten          (4756)       21.9

        6.    Nitori               (9843)       21.5

        7.    Daihatsu         (7262)       16.3

        8.    Sumitomo Rubber (5110) 16.2

        9.    Lawson          (2651)       15.8

      10.    NIDEC           (6594)       15.4

 The performace of those companies, during March 2009 and now, are more than 50% better than TOPIX, according to NIKKEI Veritus.

Back to basics will work when market direction is hard to read. 



                     August 10       %Change

    NIKKEI     8891.44      +3.93

    TOPIX       746.79       +3.15 

TSE has been increased because too much pesimisims is gone past few weeks, but the trading volume has been thin for several weeks. As this is a typical summer holiday week in Japan, trade will be thinner.



Generally speaking, sentiment is better on Japanese economy. Thanks to hot weather, summer sale has been good. People may spend more during summer holidays. 



The laws to increase the sales tax passed parliament last week. This week will be a off-week for political battle.

But the end of summer will likely to be the end of Noda administartion.

Noda might have promissed to Tanigaki, the opposition party leader, to dissolve the diet and have the general election.

Many political analysts are saying the general election is inevitable in September 2012.


WSJを真面目に読む August 10-12, 2012




Gu awaits verdict after brief trial

The trial of Gu Kallai, the wife of the disgraced Community Party official Bo Xilai, began and ended in a single day Thursday with authorities saying she didn’t contest charges that she murdered a British businessman by poisoning him when he was drunk.

              verdict: 評決 



China data damp hopes for rebound

              China’s factory output showed further slowing, damping hopes that Beijing’s shift to stimulus would trigger a rapid rebound in the world’s second-largest economy, and compounding fears about a flagging global recovery.


At Yahoo, Mayer makeover begins

              Yohoo Inc.’s rookie chief executive Marissa Mayer has made one thing clear to employees at the outset of her bid to revive the internet company: Product comes first.

              makeover: 作り直し、大変革

              at the outset: 最初に



Business & Finance

Platinum play is wager on Euro

              Some hedge funds have found a new venue to wager on a worsening outlook for Europe: the platinum market.

              wager: 賭けの対象


PepsiCo to re-enter Myanmar market

              PepsiCo Inc. said it reached a deal to distribute its products in Myanmar through a local partner, interest in the once-reclusive South Asian nation.

              reclusive: 閉鎖された、孤立した


J.P. Morgan details the extent of “whale” hit

              J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. on Thursday outlined how the ill-placed trading hedges from its London chief investment office continue to be felt in share buybacks, capital rations and trading losses.



WSJを真面目に読む August 9, 2012


病気に悩む友人を持つ人へ:「勇気の祈り」を贈ります。  神よ、




Bo Xilai’s son speaks out ahead of trial.

The Western-educated son of ousted Communist Party official Bo Xilai spoke out ahead of his mother’s murder trial, saying he had submitted a witness statement to her defense team. Chinese trial has echoes of dark past.


Standard Chartered backlash in U.K.

              British regulators, politicians and bankers launched a counterattack against the New York banking supervisor that has accused Standard Chartered PLC of misconduct.


Singaporeans urged to go all the way for civic duty. New ad campaign tells locals to help spike low birthrate.



Business & Finance

Looking at China, seeing 3-D

“Avatar” filmmaker James Cameron is counting on demand in China to help underpin the film industry’s shift to 3-D as well as create a market for a new generation of gadgets for 3-D viewing.


UBS traders offered deal by U.S. in rate probe

              U.S. prosecutors have agreed to shield several former UBS AG employees from criminal charges in return for their cooperation with the escalating investigation of suspected interest-rate manipulation, according to a person close to the probe.

              probe: 捜査、査察


Wanxiang bails out U.S. backed battery firm

              A123 Systems Inc., a struggling U.S. government-backed manufacture of advanced batteries for electric vehicles, is turning to one of China’s larger auto-parts makers for a bailout.