The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Posts Tagged ‘Japan

JAL imminent bankruptcy is yet another indication of a changing world economic landscape

I continue to be of the view that we are in the early stages of a revolutionary period and that the companys which survive will not be the ones that composed the DOW/ FTSE/ Nikkei indexes of the last 30 years. There is a shift occurring and the economic crisis is only a symptom, as global balances shift and move in ways we cannot even comprehend today.

Anyhow, in related news, yet another bastion of the old economy is in dire straits. JAL (Japan Air Lines) began in 1951, first flew to San Francisco in 1954, and in 1987 became 100% public owned. In 2002, JAL took over JAS (Japan Air Systems). 2009 November was their worst financials.  JAL stock has dropped from ¥210 to ¥4 today.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that even government employees have been abandoning JAL for competitor ANA recently.  Listening to my wife, there is a tremendous sense of patriotism and loyalty to JAL and they have continued to disappoint, yet this is a big day in Japan as they watch this situation unfold.

Out with the old companys and in with the new … banks, are you watching?

JAL plans radical cuts as bankruptcy looms

JAL’s expected filing for court protection from its creditors is one of Japan’s biggest corporate failures. The government is preparing at least Y900bn ($9.9bn) in new equity and credit lines to keep the airline operating while in bankruptcy.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

January 19, 2010 at 02:46

Posted in economy, Japan

Tagged with , ,

DOCOMO to Launch Mobile Remittance Service

Banks continue to be challenged by disintermediation from telco’s and here is another example, this time in Japan.  The service will launch 21st July, and allow sending up to $200 with only the payee’s phone number being required.

An interesting tweak is the ability to have the money deposited with DOCOMO under the guise of a credit to your account, however this is deposit taking by another name.

DOCOMO to launch mobile payments service

Customers of DOCOMO’s i-mode™ mobile Internet service on the FOMA™ 3G network will be able to remit up to 20,000 yen (about 208 U.S. dollars) per transfer, basically just by inputting the payee’s mobile phone number. The payee receives a mail notification via their DOCOMO mobile phone and is given the option of depositing the money in a domestic bank account or having the amount credited to their monthly DOCOMO phone bill. The payee can receive remittances totaling up to 200,000 yen (about 2,080 U.S. dollars) per month.


It is a lucrative service with charges to payor and payee.

The charges per payment (including consumption tax) will be 105 yen for the payer and 65 yen for the payee.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

July 4, 2009 at 17:15

Cabinet Office Pegs Global Economic Growth At Just 1% In 2010

I have read enough economic forecasts over the last 2 years to realise that this forecast from the Japanese government is the first time that government has recognised the obvious that the situation we are in is not going to resolve quickly.

I am a firm believer in this being an L shaped recovery, and this report points in that direction.  There is just too much lag built into the shift we have experienced.  With such a dramatic and permanent drop in asset values we have seen, the natural deleveraging impact will take years to work through the system.

Cabinet Office Pegs Global Economic Growth At Just 1% In ’10 | Nikkei

TOKYO (Nikkei)–The world’s economic growth is likely to be limited to around 1% in 2010 on delayed recoveries in the U.S. and Europe, according to projections in a Cabinet Office report on global economic trends released Friday.

This prediction is less optimistic than those from such forecasters as the International Monetary Fund, which is calling for 1.9% growth in 2010, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which projects 1.2% growth that year. Private-sector forecasts call for average growth of slightly more than 2%.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

June 6, 2009 at 01:52

Posted in economy

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Japanese online shopping site Rakuten to open eBank

Rakuten [wikipedia Site]  is a highly popular Japanese shopping destination online, where you can get anything, from laptops to shoes to travel, you name it.  Now they are adding their own bank in 2010.

The aggregated model exemplified by Rakuten works well in Japan, and the addition of banking is one more innovation for traditional banks to contend with.

Rakuten online shopping mall to open eBank

rakuten w107

TOKYO, Jun 04, 2009 (Kyodo News International – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — Internet mall operator Rakuten Inc. said Thursday it will rename its Internet banking unit eBANK Corp. as Rakuten Bank before late June 2010.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

June 4, 2009 at 17:00

Worries about government debt load in Japan

Following on the testimony from US Bernanke today, similar moves in Japan, the next largest world economy (for the moment), to reduce debt which remains at a world leading high.

Japan’s long-term public debt, which is already the largest of any industrialized nation, is projected to reach 168 percent of GDP at the end of March 2010, according to the ministry.

Concerning when to achieve a surplus in the primary balance, many members of the Aso-chaired panel believe it may take about 10 years, based on the latest economic growth and revenue projections, according to government officials.At the next panel meeting, the members will work concretely on new numerical fiscal targets, the officials said.

The combined situation has implications for both US and Japanese domestic economies and for the rest of the world.  While Japan has historically funded its own debt domestically, these levels may not be achievable.  The impact of government borrowing of this scale for US and potentially Japan is on future inflation and interest rates.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

June 3, 2009 at 21:12

Posted in economy

Tagged with , ,

Bank of Japan announces improvement in Japanese economy

In a surprising statement Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa announces improvements in the Japanese economy.  It is surprising following several years of slow economy even before the economic crisis we are now in.  Click through for that, and a review of several economies including Canada.

Japan raises outlook | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japan raised its economic outlook for the first time in three years on Monday, and an important measure of German business sentiment rose in May, in further signs the worst of the global recession may be over.

Research and guest comments by Nobuyo Henderson:

I look at the number of people losing jobs, stores closing, and while in Azaba Juban last week, it was very quiet and I could feel the difference.  Next to Tullys a new coffee shop closed after two months, and is replaced with a cheap meat restaurant.  I think it is too early to say it is over especially when he said this just a few weeks ago.

Previously, the government had said the economy was worsening rapidly and in a severe state.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 25, 2009 at 18:04

Posted in Japan

Tagged with ,

Banks and insider trading in foreign countries to influence stock prices

This from Japan might be a forerunner of things we might see in North America. A Foreign bank (French) involved in manufacturing information, based on insider information to improve a stock price.

With the predicted problems in commercial real estate to come, there will be increased pressure on banks with such investments.

BNP Paribas suspected of making false report on Urban Corp. deal+

TOKYO, May 8 (AP) – (Kyodo)—The Japanese unit of France’s BNP Paribas is suspected to have made a false report to the Financial Services Agency regarding trading of shares in Urban Corp., a now failed Japanese property developer, sources close to the matter said Friday.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

May 25, 2009 at 00:11

Posted in Japan, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

How much do we understand the meaning of less GDP now and forseeable future

The fall in GDP for Japan appears nothing short of catastrophic, yet on a visit there last week by Nobuyo, the effects of this change are not obvious to the everyday Japanese person.

One change that was noticeable in Tokyo is less foreigners (Gaizin).  The area around Roppongi and Azabajuban is normally where one can expect to see many western faces in the restaurants and bars.  No more.  Companies such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG as well as numerous other western financial services companies had representation in Japan, however that is quickly shifting.

This still does not appear to impact the average Japanese, at least not yet.  In fact as the country ages it almost seems to fit with a reduced economy.

Japan’s economy down 15.2% | Economist

The data, released on Wednesday May 20th, showing a 4% contraction of GDP on a quarterly basis, and a 15.2% annualised slump, reflect a continuation of Japan’s worst economic performance since the mid-1950s. Not only were the first-quarter figures bad. The previous quarter’s horrendous fall was itself revised downward by more than two percentage points, to an annualised 14.4%.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

May 21, 2009 at 00:00

Japans economy in record plunge

The economic numbers are not positiveat all.  First Europe and now Japan display worse falls in GDP than expected.

Japan’s economy in record plunge

Japan’s economy has seen its worst ever quarterly performance, with GDP shrinking 4% in the first three months of 2009.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson

Written by Colin Henderson

May 19, 2009 at 23:48

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Lyxor plans 15 new ETF funds in Japan oferred online only

In keeping with watching for new and innovative shifts in banking, Societe Generale subsidiary Lyxor plans a big push with new ETF’s in the Japan market.  These are being offerred online only.

Lyxor (Societe Generale) plans big push of global products in Japan | FT


Lyxor Asset Management is planning to expand its exchange traded product range in Japan and the rest of Asia as investors in the region gradually gain more knowledge about the funds.

The subsidiary of Société Générale will introduce 15 new ETFs into Japan this year, and market them through online brokerages, Lyxor says. That will add to the asset management firm’s existing 13 ETFs currently available to Japanese investors. The new ETFs will feature funds already listed in Europe.

Researched by Nobuyo Henderson.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 18, 2009 at 18:26

Posted in Japan

Tagged with , , ,

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