Prosecutors raided UFJ Holdings Inc's banking unit yesterday as they investigate allegations that the bank lied to government authorities about bad debts, an official said. \nThe raid comes a day after financial regulators filed a criminal complaint, asking prosecutors to investigate whether UFJ obstructed an inspection last year by hiding documents and computer files containing information about ailing corporate borrowers. \nA bank official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the raid but refused to give details. Tokyo prosecutors, who rarely comment on their actions, refused comment. Nationally televised news showed footage of about a dozen investigators filing into UFJ Bank's Tokyo headquarters. \nThe raid is a major embarrassment for UFJ Holdings, which plans to merge with Japanese banking giant Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc (MTFG) by October next year. UFJ has also been trying to fend off an aggressive merger bid from another rival, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. \nBut money-losing UFJ's woes have been widely known for years. And the latest developments are unlikely to obstruct a merger deal. \nOn Friday, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's said its ratings on UFJ Bank remain on credit watch with positive implications and those on Mitsubishi Tokyo remain on credit watch with negative implications. \n"As MTFG has already reaffirmed its commitment to consolidating with UFJ, the impact on the UFJ banks' ratings is limited at this stage," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Nana Otsuki said in a statement. \nThe outlook for Mitsubishi Tokyo will depend on details of the merger, which are still undecided, according to Standard & Poor's. \nMitsubishi Tokyo officials have repeatedly stressed that a criminal investigation won't affect their strong interest in the merger. Sumitomo Mitsui hasn't also given up on its effort. \nA combination of UFJ with either Mitsubishi Tokyo or Sumitomo Mitsui would create the world's biggest bank with assets at more than ?180 trillion (US$1.6 trillion), surpassing Citigroup Inc. \nWhichever bank gets left out will languish a distant No. 3 among Japan's financial giants, whose numbers have been dwindling in recent years after an onslaught of consolidation.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo