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Kyodo economic news summary -4-.

TOKYO, Oct. 14 Kyodo

---------- BOJ upgrades economic assessment on better export climate

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Tuesday upgraded its assessment of Japan's economy in October for the second straight month, citing improvement in export climate and business sentiment especially among major manufacturers.

''The foundation for a gradual recovery in Japan's economy is being laid, as the environment for exports and business sentiment has improved,'' the central bank said in its monthly report on recent economic and financial developments.

---------- FSA official to become Basel Committee secretary general

TOKYO - A Financial Services Agency (FSA) official has been formally appointed secretary general of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the FSA said Tuesday.

Ryozo Himino, 43, will be the first Japanese to assume the post, it said.

---------- C&S convenience store chain operators to merge

TOKYO - C&S Co. said Tuesday it and its two midsize convenience store chain affiliates, Circle K Japan Co. and Sunkus & Associates Inc., will merge Sept. 1 next year in a bid to boost the efficacy of their operations.

The merged company, Circle K Sunkus Co., will tackle cost controls amid intensifying competition in the convenience store industry while keeping the brand names of Circle K and Sunkus, C&S said.

---------- Nikon to set up marketing unit in Poland

TOKYO - Nikon Corp. said Tuesday it will set up a wholly owned marketing subsidiary in Poland to boost sales of its digital and conventional cameras in the Eastern European country.

To be capitalized at about 60 million yen, Nikon Polska Sp. z o.o. will begin operating on Nov. 3, the major Japanese camera maker said.

---------- BOJ raises current-account balance to 29.8 tril. yen

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Tuesday lifted the balance of commercial bank current account deposits held at the central bank to about 29.8 trillion yen through money-market operations, up 430 billion yen from last Friday.

The increase follows a decision Friday by the BOJ to raise the upper limit on the current-account deposit target by 2 trillion yen to 32 trillion yen while leaving the bottom of the target range unchanged at 27 trillion yen.

---------- S&P cuts rating on Ebara

TOKYO - Standard & Poor's (S&P) said Tuesday it has lowered its rating on Ebara Corp. to BB-plus-pi from BBB-minus-pi based on expectations the company's financial profile will not improve in the next few years.

Ebara, an integrated environmental engineering service company and Japan's largest pump manufacturer, posted net losses in the year ended March 31 for the second year in a row.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 20, 2003
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