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Kyodo economic news summary -4-.

TOKYO, May 25 Kyodo

---------- Mitsubishi Tokyo suffers 39.7% fall in net profit for FY 2004

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. said Wednesday its group net profit fell 39.7 percent in fiscal 2004 from a year earlier to 338.42 billion yen due to growing bad-loan disposal costs.

The major Japanese banking group logged a consolidated pretax profit of 593.29 billion yen, up 2.6 percent, on operating revenues of 2,628.51 billion yen, up 2.9 percent, in the business year to March 31.

---------- Toyota remains Japan's top income earner for 5th year in row

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. retained its position as Japan's biggest corporate income earner in calendar 2004 for the fifth consecutive year, credit research agency Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Wednesday.

Toyota declared 793.2 billion yen in income to tax authorities on the back of brisk auto sales both at home and abroad.

---------- 1 BOJ board member proposed lower current account target in April

TOKYO - One of the nine Bank of Japan Policy Board members at a meeting in April proposed a lower target for the balance of current accounts at the central bank and three others called for considering a lower target in the future, the BOJ said Wednesday.

Toshikatsu Fukuma made a specific proposal to lower the target to a 27-32 trillion yen range from the long-standing 30-35 trillion yen range, but the board voted down the proposal eight to one, and retained the current target as part of money market operation guidelines, it said in a summary of discussions at the April 5-6 monetary policy meeting.

---------- Japan gov't bond, futures prices rise on fears over economic outlook

TOKYO - Prices of 10-year Japanese government bonds and bond futures rose Wednesday as a drop in Tokyo stocks heightened concern about Japan's economic outlook.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the benchmark No. 269 10-year, 1.3 percent issue fell 0.035 percentage point from Tuesday's close to end the day at 1.220 percent.

---------- Shinkin Central Bank, 9 others extend syndicated loan to Niigata

NIIGATA, Japan - Shinkin Central Bank, the de facto central bank for the nation's shinkin banks, said Wednesday it and nine member cooperative financial institutions in Niigata Prefecture have extended a syndicated loan of 6.3 billion yen to the prefectural government.

This is the first time that shinkin banks have provided a syndicated loan to a local government, Shinkin Central Bank officials said.

---------- Stores group calls for law to charge customers for plastic bags

TOKYO - The Japan Chain Stores Association called Wednesday for a law to enable stores to charge customers for plastic shopping bags.

In a written opinion released the same day, the industry body said retailers have incurred growing costs for recycling plastic trays and other recyclable containers.

---------- Resona swings back into black in FY 2004, logs record high profit

TOKYO - Resona Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it swung back into the black and posted a record high net profit in the year to March 31 as it completed balance sheet adjustments and pushed ahead with restructuring.

The Osaka-based lender posted an all-time high group net profit of 365.59 billion yen in fiscal 2004, a turnaround from a 1,663.96 billion yen loss in the previous year.

---------- Tokyo stocks drop on nagging fears over supply-demand outlook

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks dropped Wednesday led lower by a wide range of issues on nagging worries over corporate earnings and the market's supply-demand outlook, with investors failing to snap up high-tech shares although their U.S. peers gained for the eighth straight trading day for the first time since 1999.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 119.22 points, or 1.07 percent, to 11,014.43, down for the second straight day. The key index slipped below the 11,000 line on an intraday basis for the first time since last Thursday. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues lost 11.62 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1,124.70.

---------- Japanese banks to expand insurance product sales in Dec.

TOKYO - Japan's Financial Services Agency and insurance industry have agreed to allow banks in Japan to expand insurance products sales in December, eight months behind schedule, FSA officials said Wednesday.

If no problems are found over the next two years, all types of insurance products will be made available over the counter at banks in December 2007, they said.

---------- Mazda-Ford-Changan engine venture plan obtains Chinese approval

TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. said Wednesday that Chinese authorities have given the official green light for its plan to build an engine plant near Nanjing jointly with Ford Motor Co. of the United States and Changan Automotive Group of China.

The three-way joint venture, called Changan Ford Mazda Engine Co., will be built about 1 kilometer west of a vehicle assembly plant currently being constructed in Nanjing by the three partners.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 31, 2005
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