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  • A game of contagion

    Competitive central banking

    TOKYO -- Call it beggar-thy-neighbor central banking. Interest rates around the world are coming down. The monetary authorities of emerging nations as well as those of countries that export a lot of natural resources are doing a lot of the pulling.

    March 1, 2015 07:00 am JST
  • New field for Itochu

    Japanese trader gets into social lending

    TOKYO -- Japan's Itochu is starting a new online lending service, aiming to match people who need small loans with parties willing to provide cash. The goal is to accommodate demand for funding in various markets, including emerging ones. The t

    February 27, 2015 02:00 pm JST
  • 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 open

    February 26, 2015 04:49 am JST
  • Brazilian beans

    Coffee prices sink to one-year low on improved crop outlook

    TOKYO -- Coffee prices tumbled to their lowest levels in a year as concerns over production in Brazil eased. Arabica beans, which are used for regular coffee, are currently trading at about 150 cents per pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

    February 20, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Agriculture at risk

    Higher banana prices highlight risk of crop 'clones'

    TOKYO -- Produce prices are often influenced by the weather, but there is another -- and more serious -- reason behind the recent hike in banana prices. In late January, banana producers and major Japanese trading firms reached a rough agreement

    February 20, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • BRICs in flux

    Ex-Goldman guru says it's India's time to shine

    The so-called BRICs grouping of developing countries -- comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China -- helped drive the global economy after the financial crisis erupted in 2008. But the dynamics among these nations are changing, with powerhouse Chin

    February 19, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Foreign dollar holdings

    Looming Fed rate rise could spark panic

    TOKYO -- The latest U.S. employment figures released on Feb. 6 seemed enough to end the heated debate on when U.S. interest rates will rise. One million jobs were created in the country in the three months through January, marking the highest level

    February 19, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Looming Fed rate rise could spark dollar panic

    TOKYO -- The latest U.S. employment figures released on Feb. 6 seemed enough to end the heated debate on when U.S. interest rates will rise. One million jobs were created in the country in the three months through January, marking the highest level

    February 19, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Ex-Goldman guru says it's India's time to shine among BRICs

    The so-called BRICs grouping of developing countries -- comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China -- helped drive the global economy after the financial crisis erupted in 2008. But the dynamics among these nations are changing, with powerhouse Chin

    February 19, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Toyota taking emerging-market cars in greener direction

    TOKYO -- Convinced that it is only a matter of time before environmental regulations in developing countries are as strict as those anywhere on the planet, Toyota Motor is fully redesigning its IMV series of cars for emerging markets to make them gr

    February 19, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • China's cultural pedagogy

    Western universities close more language institutes

    DALIAN, China -- As part of its strategy for greater international influence, China is spending big on Confucius Institutes, culture and language centers, around the world. However, reports that these centers are deliberately pushing Beijing's s

    February 16, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Global backlash

    Terrorism, dour economies put migration in spotlight

    TOKYO -- Migration is becoming a major issue in many Western countries. Backlashes against migrants are growing amid concerns over domestic terrorism and unemployment. To ease the friction, governments need to create enough jobs for all. Thi

    February 12, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Gentler on the Earth

    Toyota to overhaul emerging-market series

    TOKYO -- Toyota Motor will fully redesign its IMV series of emerging-market vehicles for the first time in 11 years to make them more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. The company will invest about 100 billion yen ($836 million) in re

    February 12, 2015 04:45 am JST
  • TPP talks enter (hurdle-strewn) home stretch

    TOKYO -- The 12 countries negotiating the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact hope to have a deal in place by March. The prospects for achieving that, however, partly depend on two-way talks between Japan and the U.S. The pair still needs

    February 5, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • South-South opportunities

    Chinese internet giants head for Latin America

    BUENOS AIRES -- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, China's largest Internet companies, are turning to Latin America's under-developed markets in the hope of replicating their successes in other emerging economies. Baidu, the world's No. 2 search engine

    February 2, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Harvest time for Sumitomo

    Trader to buy Brazil's Agro Amazonia as part of farm-support strategy

    TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo plans to acquire Agro Amazonia, a leading Brazilian agricultural materials supplier, as it seeks to build its global farming-support business. Sumitomo intends to acquire 65% of Agro for a little more tha

    February 1, 2015 02:00 am JST
  • TPP talks

    Japan ready to meet US halfway on beef and pork tariffs

    TOKYO -- Japan and the U.S. are inching closer to an agreement on import tariffs on U.S. agricultural products as part of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks. An agreement between the two countries is crucial as failure to str

    January 30, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Minor expansion

    Thai conglomerate enters South America and Europe

    BANGKOK -- After expanding into Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Thailand-based conglomerate Minor International has acquired its first hotel properties in South America and Europe. The company bought two hotels in Brazil and four in Po

    January 29, 2015 11:55 pm JST
  • For most central banks, things are getting 'easier'

    TOKYO -- A new wave of monetary relaxation has swept the world since the start of the year, with the European Central Bank the most prominent of those loosening their purse strings. There are two main drivers of the wave. Some countries are taki

    January 29, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Worldwide rate cuts

    Central banks welcome 2015 with series of easing moves

    TOKYO -- A wave of monetary relaxation has swept the world since the start of this year, involving not only the European Central Bank but central banks of various other countries as well. The wave consists of two types. One type of credit ea

    January 26, 2015 01:00 pm JST