September 25, 1997 |
Tokyo prosecutors arrested the former president of Yamaichi Securities Co., a major Japanese brokerage. The move followed the arrests last month of five brokerage officials accused of funneling profits to Ryuichi Koike, a suspected racketeer. Prosecutors from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office said Atsuo Miki is suspected of having endorsed $658,000 in payments that were transferred in 1995 to an account held by Koike's younger brother.
July 9, 1997 |
New highs for stocks have become almost routine in most markets worldwide in 1997. And then there is humbled Japan. More than seven years after the Tokyo stock market's Nikkei-225 index peaked at 39,000, Japanese stocks overall are still priced about half off: The Nikkei index closed at 19,853.89 on Tuesday. Despite some strong rally attempts this year, the index is up just 2.5% since Jan. 1, one-tenth the 24% gain in the U.S. Standard & Poor's 500 index.
May 20, 1997 |
Prosecutors raided the Tokyo offices of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank on Tuesday to investigate the major bank's possible loans to a corporate racketeer as the Nomura Securities Co. scandal broadened, Japanese media reports said. The raid by more than 100 officers helped drive down Japanese stocks in early trading, led by banks, amid concern that the practices were not to limited Dai-Ichi, traders said.
March 11, 1997 |
A growing scandal over alleged illegal stock trading battered Nomura Securities Co., Japan's largest brokerage firm, on Monday as two of its managing directors resigned and its share prices fell. Japanese media have reported that the allegedly illicit trades benefited a real estate firm linked to sokaiya racketeers--gangsters who specialize in extorting money from corporations through such means as blackmailing executives or threatening to disrupt stockholder meetings.
March 7, 1997 |
Nomura Securities Co., Japan's largest securities firm, said two of its managing directors may have been trading stocks illegally since March 1995. The executives most likely were secretly dabbling in stocks from a corporate account without the account holder's knowledge, said Atsushi Saito, executive vice president. He did not identify the two, who remain in their posts. He also declined to say how much money was involved in questionable transactions.
January 10, 1997 |
Japanese stocks plunged, taking the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index below 18,000 for the first time in 14 months amid concern that bad loans at banks and other lenders will hobble economic growth. The Nikkei 225, the market's key index, racked up its largest one-day fall in two years, shedding 4.26% of its value in trading today.
August 12, 1996 |
Yasuo Hamanaka, the veteran Sumitomo copper trader at the heart of a current financial scandal, ended eight weeks of hiding Sunday. He said that he is doing well and that he has been living quietly in Tokyo. In a brief interview with Reuters here, Hamanaka said that he will comment on the scandal "sometime in the future." He said he has had no contact with Sumitomo Corp., his former employer, since his firing June 14, a day after the company announced that it had lost $1.
July 4, 1996 |
The fall of Sumitomo Corp.'s top copper trader, which led to the current copper trading scandal, showed that the speculative funds are now the real power in commodity markets with the weight to overwhelm any "Mr. Big." Ironically, say commodity analysts, the cash-rich funds that sold copper and smashed Sumitomo trader Yasuo Hamanaka's trading position in early June might, back in 1993, have rescued him from earlier, deep trouble. At that time they were buyers.
June 29, 1996 |
The copper trading scandal widened Friday with reports that Chinese companies and trader Yasuo Hamanaka had sought to rig world copper prices and news that Japan will open its own criminal inquiry, following the lead of the United States and Britain. That represents a reversal of Japan's stance earlier, that none of its laws could have been broken because the unauthorized copper trades that produced $1.8 billion in losses for the Japanese company Sumitomo Corp. were conducted outside Japan.