Central bank holds rates
Japan’s central bank ended its latest policy meeting yesterday with no change in the country’s key interest rate, resisting government pressure for further easing. The Bank of Japan said in a statement yesterday that it expected the world’s third-largest economy to “level off” for now, with inflation at about 0 percent. The BOJ said it would continue asset purchases and other “powerful monetary easing” announced last month. It also urged that greater attention be paid to the impact of financial and foreign exchange markets on the economy.
Sony suspends tablet sales
Sony Corp suspended sales of a tablet computer that was introduced last month, citing a water-proofing defect. The electronics maker told customers on its Web site yesterday that it is halting sales of the Xperia Tablet S and will offer free repairs. Sony will offer repairs in regions where the device is available, including Taiwan, the US, Canada, Europe and Oceania, Noriko Shoji, a spokesperson for the Tokyo-based company, said yesterday.
Airline extends shutdown
India’s Kingfisher Airlines has extended its shutdown and will not fly any planes for another week, unless it can convince pilots and engineers who have not been paid for months to return to work. Chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal has been crisscrossing the country to meet disgruntled employees, but has not reached a deal, forcing the airline to prolong the shutdown that was meant to end yesterday. The airline is flying less than one-fifth of the number of planes it was a year ago and its share of the domestic market plunged to 3.2 percent in August.
Zynga shares plunge
Zynga shares plunged anew on Thursday after the company behind social games such as FarmVille cut its earnings forecast for the year. Shares dove more than 18 percent to US$2.28 in after-market trading on the NASDAQ. Zynga cited curbed play of its games along with delays in releasing new titles as among the cause for reducing its revenue expectations. The San Francisco-based company said it will also be hit with a writedown of as much as US$95 million from its purchase early this year of OMGPOP, the startup behind the Draw Something game that was a smartphone hit.
Mizuho to book loss
Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group said yesterday it will book a securities valuation loss of more than US$2 billion for the quarter to last month, citing a steep drop in the value of some of the securities it holds. The banking group said the loss of ￥173.7 billion (US$2.2 billion) would be the result of a write-off of losses caused by the considerable decline in the market value of shares.
Firms stop covering riots
Big Japanese insurers have stopped covering firms against riots in China, a report said yesterday. Major non-life insurers, including Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance, had been selling policies that cover damage from strikes, riots and civil commotion. However, they have stopped accepting new applications for such riders or requests for expanded coverage since protests targeting Japanese businesses erupted in cities across China, the Nikkei newspaper said.