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Knight-Ridder Signs Deal With Japanese Daily : Gives U.S. Chain a Jump on Asian Economic News Before Big Board Opens

February 09, 1988|SAM JAMESON | Times Staff Writer

TOKYO — Knight-Ridder Inc. signed an agreement Monday that will enable it to distribute daily news carried in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's premier economic newspaper, before the New York Stock Exchange opens.

The nationally circulated Japanese newspaper, in turn, will have access to Knight-Ridder Financial News and will market Knight-Ridder's MoneyCenter, a continually updated, computer-based economic news, statistics and charting product, to the Japanese financial community.

A five-point marketing agreement was signed by James K. Batten, president of Knight-Ridder, and Ko Morita, president and chief executive of Nihon Keizai.

A reporter for Knight-Ridder, who asked not to be identified, said no capital investment was involved in the deal. Both organizations will pay for the services that they receive from each other, she added.

"We have had a contract with Jiji News Agency because it's so difficult to gain access to (government) ministries because of the press clubs," the reporter said.

Press clubs, which Japanese news organizations have established at all government agencies and business organizations, are news-gathering groups to which both Japanese business executives and government officials often make announcements. Foreign correspondents and other Japanese reporters are excluded from those news conferences.

The new arrangement with the Nihon Keizai--called "Nikkei," for short--will be a major boost to Knight-Ridder's ability to provide Japanese news to its clients, the Knight-Ridder reporter added.

"The New York market often had rumors of what was going to appear in the next day's Nikkei," the reporter said. "Now, (news) that will be published in the Nikkei will be available by 8 a.m. New York time."

The 2.7-million circulation Nihon Keizai newspaper, which also prints and distributes the Asian Wall Street Journal, offers its own database information services in both Japanese and English. The agreement will enable the Nihon Keizai to update its own news more regularly, the Knight-Ridder reporter said.

Neither the Japanese newspaper nor Knight-Ridder, a leading U.S. newspaper publisher and international provider of financial information, will provide trading services for dealings in foreign exchange or U.S. Treasury bonds.

As before, "we sell our product based on news alone, while both Reuters and Telerate (which circulates Dow Jones Capital Market and AP-Dow Jones news) offer specific trading services," the reporter said.

Reuters' financial service offers detailed foreign exchange listings while Telerate carries information about prices of U.S. Treasury bonds.

Knight-Ridder's Business Information Services division, through its London-based international subsidiary Knight-Ridder Unicom, will provide Knight-Ridder Financial News to Nikkei. In turn, Nikkei will market Knight-Ridder's MoneyCenter to the Japanese financial community.

MoneyCenter market information will be available through Nikkei's partly owned subsidiary, Quick Corp., which offers computer-transmitted securities quotations.

The agreement also allows Nikkei to electronically distribute financial and commodity information from MoneyCenter to Nikkei Telecom, an on-line financial and commodity news and statistics database, while Knight-Ridder's MoneyCenter subscribers will receive access to Nikkei's English-language financial and commodity information.

"With the continuing rapid growth of information needs in the international financial community, we are confident that Knight-Ridder and Nikkei working together can make an important contribution to the marketplace," Batten said in a statement issued by his company.

Nikkei's Morita said the agreement "will enable Nikkei and Knight-Ridder to strengthen their respective information services as well as their marketing operations to meet the increasingly diverse demands for information."

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