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Kyodo economic news summary -2-.

TOKYO, April 4 Kyodo

---------- Gov't to sell stake in privatized postal savings, insurance

TOKYO - The government has decided to sell its entire stake in postal savings and insurance units by the 2017 end of a controversial proposal to privatize Japan's postal system over a 10-year period, government sources said Monday.

The decision is part of an outline of legislations to privatize Japan Post in the face of strong reservation within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

---------- Crude oil futures rise to record $57.79 per barrel

NEW YORK - Crude oil prices rose to a record high of $57.79 per barrel in New York during after-hours trading Sunday amid concern about tight supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery topped the previous high of

$57.70 set Friday.

---------- Shobunsha sets up business in China to offer map content services

TOKYO - Shobunsha Publications Inc. said Monday it has set up a joint venture in Beijing with a major Chinese information technology firm to offer map content distribution services.

Capitalized at 150 million yen, Beijing Founder Mapple Information Co. is owned 49 percent by Shobunsha and 51 percent by Peking University Founder Group Corp. Operation would start this month.

---------- IDB Okinawa meeting eyes spurring ties between Latin America, Asia

TOKYO - The Inter-American Development Bank will hold an annual meeting starting Sunday in Okinawa, looking into ways to spur development in Latin American and Caribbean economies and boost trade and investment between the region and Asia.

The three-day meeting, to be chaired by Japan's Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, will bring together financial leaders from the 47 member countries of the Washington-based organization. Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras and the Dominican Republic will be represented by their presidents.

---------- Tokyo stocks decline in morning, hit by losses in major banks

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell Monday morning, with investors having little appetite for major banks and insurance firms, while oil issues attracted strong buying after oil prices surged to a record high in New York on Friday.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 46.40 points, or 0.40 percent, to end the morning at 11,677.23. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange slid 2.62 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,183.88.

---------- Dollar trades in upper 107 yen in Tokyo morning deals

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar traded just below its five-month high in the upper 107 yen level Monday morning in Tokyo on growing expectations about higher U.S. interest rates.

At noon, the dollar was quoted at 107.68-70 yen against Friday's 5 p.m. quotes of 107.49-59 yen in New York and 107.26-28 yen in Tokyo.

---------- Japan gov't bond, futures prices inch up in morning deals

TOKYO - Prices of 10-year Japanese government bond and bond futures inched up Monday morning, due to a setback in Tokyo stocks.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the key No. 268 10-year, 1.5 percent issue slipped 0.005 percentage point from Friday's close to end the morning at 1.325 percent.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Apr 4, 2005
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