Japan

NEC, Renesas to merge by April 2010, sign deal in July

NEC, Renesas to merge by April 2010, sign deal in July Tokyo - Japanese electronics companies Renesas Technology and NEC Electronics have agreed to merge their business operations by April 2010 to become the nation's largest semiconductor maker and the world's third-largest chipmaker, the companies announced Monday. The move was designed to ensure the companies' survival during the global downturn. They are expected to sign the deal in July.

Renesas, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric, is the country's second-largest chipmaker after market leader Toshiba.

Gains limited at Tokyo market due to swine flu concerns - Summary

JapanTokyo - The Tokyo market closed modestly higher Monday after optimism was dampened by concerns over the spread of swine flu. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 18.35 points, or 0.21 per cent, to close at 8,726.34.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also up 3.05 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 833.1.

Market sentiment was boosted in morning trading after Wall Street advanced before the weekend thanks to US carmaker Ford Motor Co reported better-than-expected earnings.

Japan expects economy to contract 3.3 per cent in fiscal 2009

Japan expects economy to contract 3.3 per cent in fiscal 2009 Tokyo  - The Japanese government on Monday announced the steepest-ever downward projection of the nation's economic growth as the world's second-largest economy suffers its worst recession in postwar history.

The Cabinet Office said the nation's economy would contract 3.3 per cent for the current fiscal year that began April 1, revising downward from zero growth it predicted in December.

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion Nathan

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion NathanSydney  - Shares in Lion Nathan Ltd leapt 40 per cent Monday after Australia's second-largest brewer agreed to a 6.5-billion-Australian-dollar (4.6-billion-US-dollar) takeover offer from Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings Co Ltd.

Lion Nathan's board has agreed to sell Kirin the 54 per cent of shares it doesn't already own in the brewer that counts the beer brands Tooheys, James Boag, James Squire, Heineken, Hahn and XXXX in its stable.

The deal needs the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board and non-Kirin shareholders.

Japan ups health inspections, seeks vaccines against swine flu

Japan ups health inspections, seeks vaccines against swine flu Tokyo  - Japan on Monday decided to upgrade health inspections on travellers returning from Mexico to prevent swine flu outbreaks in the nation while pushing to develop vaccines to prevent an epidemic.

As Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso ordered his cabinet ministers at a crisis meeting held Monday to ensure public safety, the Health Ministry vowed to begin developing vaccines against swine influenza.

Tokyo market ends morning higher on Wall Street's gains

Tokyo market ends morning higher on Wall Street's gains Tokyo  - While the Tokyo market ended Monday morning trading higher, tracking Wall Street's rises before the weekend, gains were capped due to concern over the spead of Mexico's swine flu outbreak.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 68.64 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 8,776.63.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also up 8.88 points, or 1.07 per cent, at 838.93.

The market sentiment was boosted in Tokyo after US carmaker Ford Motor Co reported better-than-expected earnings.

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