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Kyodo economic news summary -7-.

TOKYO, May 18 Kyodo

---------- H.K. jobless rate edges down to 7.1 percent in February-April

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent for the three-month period to April, from 7.2 percent in the January-March period, the government said Tuesday.

The unemployment rate is a 17-month low since September-November 2002.

---------- Construction firm Shimizu's group net profit up 34.1% in FY2003

TOKYO - Major construction firm Shimizu Corp. said Tuesday its group net profit jumped 34.1 percent to 9.16 billion yen in the fiscal year to March 31 chiefly because extraordinary losses shrank by 6.66 billion yen from the previous year.

In a consolidated earnings report for fiscal 2003, Shimizu said its pretax profit dipped 3.0% to 32.05 billion yen and revenue edged up 0.1 percent to 1,550.55 billion yen. Per-share net profit rose to 11.53 yen from the previous year's 8.58 yen.

---------- Peugeot to recall 429 cars in Japan due to electrical problems

TOKYO - The Japanese arm of French automaker Peugeot SA said Tuesday it will recall a total of 429 cars in three models for free repairs of defective electrical parts.

Subject to the recall from Wednesday are the 607, 607 Sedan V6, and 607 Sport cars imported between Aug. 31, 2000 and Jan. 31, 2003, Peugeot Japon said in a report filed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

---------- Tokyo Electric Power's FY 2003 group net profit drops 8.5%

TOKYO - Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday its group net profit for the business year through March 31 slumped 9.5 percent from the previous year to 149.55 billion yen due to an extraordinary loss on fixed-asset appraisal.

Japan's biggest utilities company also said revenues slid 1.3 percent to 4,853.83 billion yen, affected by sluggish power demand amid an unusually cool summer and slack business activity during the reporting year.

---------- Mizuho Bank to launch 'concierge' service at branches

TOKYO - Mizuho Bank said Tuesday it will begin a ''concierge'' service at its branches across Japan to strengthen consulting service on financial products and asset management.

Female bank officials, mostly in their 30s and 40s and well-versed in financial instruments, will serve as ''concierges'' at 250 branches across Japan by the end of March 2006, Mizuho Bank officials said.

---------- TSE to introduce chairman post

TOKYO - Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. said Tuesday it will introduce a chairman's post in June in an effort to strengthen its management structure, but the bourse has yet to select a candidate for the new post.

TSE President Takuo Tsurushima told a press conference that the chairman will serve as head of the board of directors and the president will assume operating responsibility.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 24, 2004
Previous Article:Construction firm Shimizu's group net profit up 34.1% in FY2003.
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