Companies

Transparent governance

MUFG to give holding company, outside directors more oversight

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group will switch to a committee-based governance structure that gives greater authority to outside directors on personnel decisions and auditing, putting more power in the hands of the holding company. The commi...

  • Tapping tourism demand

    Qantas to double flights to Japan

    SYDNEY -- Qantas plans to double service between Australia and Japan in August, part of an effort to shore up its international business. The Australian carrier currently flies seven round trips a week between Sydney and Narita Airport near Tokyo...

  • Family feud

    Otsuka Kagu founder, daughter fight for control

    TOKYO -- Two members of the founding family of Japanese furniture maker Otsuka Kagu are gearing up for a proxy fight over management of the company. The management, led by President Kumiko Otsuka, submitted a slate of board candidates that effect...

  • Maintaining independence

    Seibu focused on growth, keeping largest investor in check

    TOKYO -- Seibu Holdings hopes to add to recent successes by expanding profits about 20% in the next three years, according to a new growth plan released Thursday, in part to keep its largest shareholder happy -- and off its back. The Seibu group ...

  • Switching gears

    Yamaha city cars to hit Europe around 2019

    TOKYO -- Yamaha Motor plans to make and sell small cars in Europe starting around 2019, President Hiroyuki Yanagi told the Nikkei Thursday. The world's second-biggest motorbike maker will invest tens of billions of yen to set up a plant for two-s...

  • More M&As planned

    Cheung Kong net profit rose 53% in 2014

    HONG KONG -- Hong Kong conglomerate Cheung Kong Holdings on Thursday announced that its net profit for the year ended December 2014 jumped 53% on the year to HK$53.8 billion ($6.93 billion) as a result of listing a group power company on the Hong Kon...

  • Slave labor claim

    Animus for Taiwan fuels Foxconn's bad rep

    GUANGZHOU, China -- Foxconn is in the media spotlight again over an allegation of slave labor conditions at its factories on the Chinese mainland, but this may be more of a smear arising from China's ill will toward Taiwan. In 2010, the Taiwanese...

  • Shift to Vietnam

    Microsoft closing 2 handset plants in China

    GUANGZHOU, China -- Microsoft intends to close its two factories in China that manufacture mobile phones by the end of March, cutting roughly 9,000 jobs. The U.S. software giant inherited the factories in Dongguan and Beijing when it acquired the...

  • Aviation offer

    Narita Airport offers upstarts free landing

    TOKYO -- Narita Airport plans from April to offer free landing fees for the first year they fly out of the hub. The preferential treatment is applicable only to carriers that meet requirements. One such term is that airlines launch direct servic...

  • Manila Electric

    Philippine utility, Osaka Gas talking $2B deal

    MANILA -- Manila Electric, better known as Meralco, and Osaka Gas are talking about partnering on a natural gas project in the Philippines. The $2 billion plant would align with the Japanese energy supplier's Southeast Asian expansion and the Philipp...

  • Genting earnings

    Gambling debts hurt company's bottom line

    SINGAPORE -- Genting Singapore reported on Tuesday a full year net profit of $517.3 million Singapore dollars ($382.7 million), a 12% drop from S$589.4 million in fiscal 2013. The major Singapore casino operator has over the last 12 months seen a...

  • Panasonic on display

    Electronics maker to set up first showroom in Cambodia

    TOKYO -- Japanese electronics maker Panasonic will open its first Cambodian showroom by May 2015 as it seeks to increase its share of the home-appliance market and raise the profile of its corporate-use products there. The showroom, to be set up ...

  • A step forward

    Takeda on front foot after rough start for president

    TOKYO/SINGAPORE -- Takeda Pharmaceutical is stepping up its emerging-market business, an area where it has lagged behind, as President Christophe Weber finally starts to look ahead after spending months on damage control. Japan-based Takeda opene...

  • High times for megabanks

    Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ employees to demand 2% pay raise

    TOKYO -- The labor union at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ decided Wednesday to seek a 2% pay increase at the annual negotiations with management in March, breaking ranks with its counterparts at Japan's two other megabanks. Union leaders at Tokyo-...

  • Onshoring

    TDK bringing production back to Japan thanks to weak yen

    TOKYO -- TDK will build large factories in its home country of Japan for the first time in eight years, taking advantage of the improved profitability of domestic production brought on by a weaker yen. The company plans to spend 25 billion yen ($...

  • Diversifying income

    Nomura Research seen with 50% profit gain outside financial sector

    TOKYO -- The Nomura Research Institute expects operating profit from the nonfinancial information systems business to jump more than 50% as a result of efforts to lean less on the financial sector. The segment's operating profit is projected at a...

  • Plaza Indonesia Realty diversification

    Mall operator building outlying flats for commuting singles

    JAKARTA -- Plaza Indonesia Realty, a luxury mall operator in Indonesia, is building a 3,000-unit apartment complex of mostly single-room units that targets middle class commuters working in Jakarta. Subsidiary Plaza Indonesia Urban is investing 1...

  • SpiceJet relaunch

    Indian budget carrier paying debts

    NEW DELHI -- In a bid for solvency, Indian budget airline SpiceJet announced it had made good on outstanding income tax the day after Ajay Singh, one of the airline's original founders, formally took control. According to a Feb. 24 statement, the...

  • Siam Cement Group succession

    Thai materials giant prepares next in line to take century-old helm

    BANGKOK -- Thai materials giant Siam Cement Group's (SCG) approach toward leadership succession stands out in the increasingly short-term focused business world. The company has been grooming its next leader for the past five years in preparation for...

  • Citizen under fire

    Japanese watchmaker's mass layoff stirs China backlash fears

    GUANGZHOU/SHANGHAI -- When Japanese wristwatch maker Citizen abruptly shuttered its watch-parts factory in the southeastern Chinese city of Guangzhou in early February, nearly 1,000 workers there lost their jobs. The blunt nature of the closure, ...