Mizuho mob loans probed
Tokyo police are preparing to launch a probe into Mizuho Financial Group’s loans to gangsters, a report said yesterday. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police are eyeing fraud allegations against the gangsters, who are thought to have received the loans by hiding their affiliations with criminal organizations, the Asahi Shimbun said. Mizuho has been cooperating with police, the newspaper added. The bank, one of the country’s three biggest, has been under fire since it emerged that it had processed hundreds of transactions worth about ￥200 million (US$2 million) for “anti-social forces,” a common term for Yakuza mobsters. The Financial Services Agency last month admonished the bank for taking “no substantial steps” in dealing with the issue of loans to the mob after it was first discovered two years ago, and pointed to “serious problems” with its compliance monitoring.
Crisis over: Weidmann
The region has left its recession behind and is no longer at the center of attention of crisis-fixing efforts, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told reporters in Washington on Saturday. The IMF cut its global growth forecast for this year and next last week and predicted developing economies would grow 4.5 percent this year, compared with a July prediction of 5 percent. Emerging-market stocks fell the most in a week on Friday. Weidmann said the interest in Europe during the meetings centered mostly on institutional changes, especially progress on building the region’s banking union, the conduct of asset quality checks and stress tests for lenders, as well as the removal of “legacy burdens” in the banking sector that has to be completed before supervision by the European Central Bank can start.
Yahoo acquires Bread
Yahoo on Saturday said that it acquired tech company Bread, a URL shortener that allows users to design then target advertisments to readers who click on their links. “Through this acquisition, we’re gaining a team of six engineers and product managers who will join our advertising technology organization in Sunnyvale,” a Yahoo spokesperson said. Bread, which has already been shuttered, allowed users to make and insert ads that people clicking through to a shortened link’s Web page would have to view, according to media. All Bread links will be viable until Nov. 11, at which point the company says users should switch to another URL shortner, bit.ly.
Hopkins tipped to lead Hulu
Hulu LLC, the video streaming service controlled by Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox Inc, is close to naming Fox executive Mike Hopkins as its chief executive officer, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The appointment is expected to be announced shortly, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Hopkins, president of distribution for Fox Networks and a Hulu board member, would succeed acting CEO Andy Forssell. With Hopkins, Hulu would gain an executive experienced in negotiating with pay-TV services. The company wants to become an online partner to the industry, giving subscribers mobile and online access to programs, and is developing its own shows. The selection moves Hulu closer to being a media company than a tech player, said Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co.