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Kyodo economic news summary -4-.

TOKYO, April 11 Kyodo

---------- Daiei's pretax profit plunges 76.9% on sales drop, OMC Card cost

TOKYO - Major supermarket operator Daiei Inc. said Friday its group pretax profit plunged 76.9 percent in the business year ended Feb. 29 to 8.63 billion yen due mainly to a sales fall and large expenses at its consumer loan arm OMC Card Inc.

In an earnings report for the 12-month period, Daiei's operating revenues fell 6.8 percent from a year before to 1.20 trillion yen partly because supermarket store sales remained slack in terms of same-store basis.

---------- China's trade surplus rises to $13.41 bil. in March

BEIJING - China's trade surplus with the rest of the world reached $13.41 billion in March, up from $8.56 billion a month earlier, as brisk exports outpaced imports, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

The figure was almost double of the $6.87 billion recorded a year earlier, according to the data.

---------- Toyota to build new plant in India to start output in 2010

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will invest about 35 billion yen to build a new auto plant with an annual production capacity of 100,000 units in India by 2010 to meet growing local demand.

When production starts at the new plant, Toyota will have a total production capacity of 160,000 units in India, including 60,000 units at the existing plant of its Indian production base, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd.

---------- BTMU, KDDI to name joint cellphone-based Internet bank 'jibun ginko'

TOKYO - The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and mobile phone services provider KDDI Corp. will name the cellphone-based Internet bank they plan to establish jointly, ''jibun ginko'' (self bank), BTMU sources said Friday.

The two firms will seek to obtain a banking license for the Internet bank from the Financial Services Agency, possibly in June, with an eye to start operations in July, according to the sources at the banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

---------- Gov't panel examines TCI's plan to raise stake in J-Power

TOKYO - A Finance Ministry committee on foreign investment was convened Friday to examine whether a plan by The Children's Investment Fund, or TCI, to raise its stake in Electric Power Development Co. is permissible on national security grounds.

This is the first time that experts of the Council on Customs, Tariff, Foreign Exchange and Other Transactions have held a meeting to screen a stock acquisition plan by a foreign company.

---------- Gov't, ruling parties agree on road tax plan, to seek talks with DPJ

TOKYO - The government and the ruling parties agreed Friday on a plan to free up road tax revenues for general expenditures starting in fiscal 2009, hoping to present it to the opposition parties possibly early next week to launch policy talks over the matter.

Under the plan compiled in line with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's proposal announced late March, they also agreed that it is a ''prerequisite'' to seek early passage of the government tax code bill aimed at reinstating gasoline and other road-related tax surcharges, which expired March 31 due to resistance from the opposition parties.

---------- Africa, donors to address climate change, monitor TICAD progress

TOKYO - Major donors and international agencies will assist Africa to comprehensively address climate change issues through mitigation and adaptation measures, and support the continent's participation in a post-2012 emissions cut framework, an action plan draft for the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development said.

In addition to the five-year road map, African nations and their development partners will also commit themselves at TICAD to promote ''self-sustained'' economic growth, ensure human security and set up a three-tier follow-up mechanism to monitor progress, according to a declaration draft also obtained by Kyodo News on Friday.

---------- Tokyo stocks jump on Wall Street rise, earnings reports cast cloud

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks snapped a three-day losing streak Friday as investors took comfort in a rebound on Wall Street and a weaker yen, but their upside was capped by lingering anxiety about upcoming U.S. and Japanese earnings reports.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 378.43 points, or 2.92 percent, from Thursday to 13,323.73. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 30.55 points, or 2.45 percent, to 1,278.62.

---------- Key 10-year JGB yield rises on rebound in Tokyo stocks

TOKYO - The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bonds closed higher Friday as a rebound in Tokyo stocks prompted selling of safe-haven bonds.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the No. 291, 1.3 percent issue gained 0.045 percentage point from Thursday's close to 1.375 percent.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Apr 14, 2008
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