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Kyodo economic news summary -5-.

TOKYO, Feb. 17 Kyodo

---------- Dead roosters confirmed to have been infected with bird flu

TOKYO - Two of seven dead bantam roosters in Oita Prefecture have been confirmed to have been infected with bird flu, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Tuesday.

The National Institute of Animal Health conducted confirmation tests after two of the seven roosters died recently tested positive for bird flu in preliminary tests.

---------- Emergency meeting on bird flu to be held in Bangkok

BANGKOK - Officials from more than 20 countries in Asia and international experts will hold an emergency meeting in Bangkok later this month to discuss measures to control the bird flu epidemic, a U.N. agency said Tuesday.

The meeting on Feb. 26-28 will be jointly organized by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health and the World Health Organization, the FAO said in a statement.

---------- Japan ad spending down 0.3% in 2003, 3rd yr of decline

TOKYO - Spending on advertising in Japan came to 5,684.1 billion yen in 2003, down 0.3% from 2002 and marking a third straight year of decline, Dentsu Inc. said Tuesday.

The spending was hit by slow progress in Japan's economic recovery and the impact of the war in Iraq, Japan's largest advertising agency said.

---------- Disneyland operator to build youth hostel facility at Urayasu

TOKYO - Oriental Land Co. said Tuesday it will construct a youth hostel facility at Urayasu on the coast of Tokyo Bay where it operates Tokyo Disneyland by March 2006.

The firm said it will fully finance construction of the facility, estimated to cost hundreds of millions of yen, for the use of young people in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture.

---------- Ex-Nippon Steel Chairman Takeda dies

TOKYO - Yutaka Takeda, former chairman and president of Nippon Steel Corp., died Sunday of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital, Nippon Steel said Tuesday. He was 90.

Takeda, a native of Miyagi Prefecture, became president of Japan's largest steelmaker in 1981 and served as chairman between 1987 and 1989. He also worked as vice chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) between 1986 and 1989.

---------- Mitsubishi Motors denies reports about Eckrodt resigning

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) denied press reports Tuesday that its president Rolf Eckrodt may step down to take the blame for poor results at the automaker.

''There is no foundation for the articles, which are based purely on speculation,'' MMC said in a statement. ''There are no plans for a retirement.''

---------- Margin stock buying in Japan up for 6th straight week

TOKYO - Margin buying on Japan's three major stock exchanges rose last week for the sixth straight week, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said Tuesday.

The balance of shares bought on credit from brokerages during the period came to 2,293.64 billion yen, up 10.61 billion yen from the previous week, according to data collected at the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya bourses.

---------- Singapore, Panama agree to launch negotiations for FTA

SINGAPORE - Singapore and Panama agreed Tuesday to start negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), with a target of concluding the pact within a year.

Panamanian Vice President Arturo Vallarino and Commerce and Industry Minister Joaquin Jacome Diez reached the agreement in a meeting with Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo in Singapore, a joint statement said.

---------- Seiyu posts net loss of 7.09 bil. yen in March-Dec. term

TOKYO - Supermarket operator Seiyu Ltd., an affiliate of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said Tuesday it posted a group net loss of 7.09 billion yen for the March-December period.

Comparable figures from a year earlier were unavailable as last year Seiyu changed its accounting period to run through the end of December rather than the end of February to bring its earnings report more in line with that of Wal-Mart.

---------- Dollar edges up against yen on suspected BOJ interventions

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar ended slightly higher versus the yen Tuesday in Tokyo, after the dollar's initial spike due to suspected interventions by Japanese monetary authorities was later curtailed by exporters' dollar selling.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at 105.63-65 yen against Monday's 4 p.m. quotes of 105.40-50 yen in London and 105.49-52 yen in Tokyo. The New York market was closed Monday for the President's Day holiday.

---------- Cash bonds, futures prices fall after rises in Tokyo stocks

TOKYO - Prices of 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGBs) and JGB futures fell Tuesday on selling prompted mainly by sharp rises in Tokyo stocks.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the key No. 257 10-year, 1.3% government bond issue rose 0.020 percentage point from Monday to 1.270%.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Feb 23, 2004
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