UFJ Holdings Inc, Japan's fourth-largest lender, said it's considering a hostile bid from Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, increasing pressure on Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc to win investor support for its offer. \nThe bank is seeking outside advice regarding Sumitomo Mitsui's offer, while sticking to a plan to merge with Mitsubishi Tokyo to form the world's largest bank, Osaka-based UFJ said in a statement. \nThe Sumitomo Mitsui proposal, which includes more than ?500 billion (US$4.23 billion) in funding to UFJ, sets the stage for the first bidding contest in Japan's banking industry. UFJ reported a ?91.6 billion first-quarter loss on Friday and is trying to boost capital to reduce bad loans equivalent to more than one-tenth of total lending. \nSumitomo Mitsui's bid "will force Mitsubishi Tokyo to come up with numbers and to beat those numbers and there's going to be a fight with shareholders on this issue," said Kirby Daley, a strategist at Societe Generale Securities' Fimat division. \nMitsubishi Tokyo spokesman Susumu Niitsuma said Sumitomo Mitsui's proposal had ``no impact'' on its negotiations with UFJ that began last month. He said the bank hasn't made an offer of financial support to UFJ. \nUFJ, which has more bad loans than any other bank in Japan, last week rejected Sumitomo Mitsui's merger proposal, saying it wants to push forward with its talks with Mitsubishi Tokyo. \nABN Amro Asset Management's Patrick Lemmens, a UFJ shareholder, wrote to the bank last week asking the lender to consider Sumitomo Mitsui's bid. Competition will result in the best terms for investors, he said. \n"We are considering the content of the [Sumitomo Mitsui] proposal to show that we are committed to shareholder value and our clients," UFJ spokesman Minoru Soutome said. \nUFJ's first-quarter loss compares with net income of ?132.2 billion a year earlier. Its bad loans rose 17 percent during the quarter to ?4.62 trillion, the highest in Japan, while costs to write off or provide against overdue credits at UFJ's two main units surged to ?306 billion. \n"The normal reaction after the earnings could be acceleration of the merger process with Mitsubishi Tokyo," said Giovanni Brambilla, who owns UFJ shares among US$362 million of Asian equities he manages at Milan-based Anima SA. \n"Mitsubishi Tokyo is the only one with the financial means to inject money into UFJ," Brambilla said. \nUFJ's capital adequacy ratio, an important measure of a bank's financial health, fell to 9.01 percent from 9.24 percent in March. Regulators in Japan require banks with international operations to have enough capital to cover 8 percent of their lending. \nThe lender needs to boost its capital to offset additional bad-loan write-offs in its fiscal second-quarter ending Sept. 30. \n"UFJ has to raise capital as soon as it can," said Nana Otsuki, a credit analyst at Standard & Poor's that rates UFJ's main bank unit BBB. \n"It urgently has to deal with bad loans and the lack of capital is limiting its lending," Otsuki said. \nTalks between UFJ and Mitsubishi Tokyo stalled after a Tokyo court ruled last month they couldn't include UFJ's profitable trust unit in the negotiations.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus