Bloomberg News

Japanese Stocks Rise as G-20 Eases Europe Concern; Olympus Drops

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks climbed, driving the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to its highest close in a month, after Group of 20 finance chiefs meeting in Paris endorsed parts of a plan to contain Europe’s debt crisis.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s second- largest lender by market value, gained 2.8 percent. Sony Corp. jumped 5 percent after earnings at its mobile phone unit beat analysts’ earnings estimates. Olympus Corp. slumped 24 percent after auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers called for an investigation into an acquisition.

“Investors are recovering their risk appetite,” said Kenichi Hirano, general manager and strategist at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo. “We could see that G-20 countries would cooperate with European countries in tackling the debt crisis, which helped concern over the European crisis recede.”

The Nikkei 225 increased 1.5 percent to 8,879.60 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, its highest close since Sept. 2. The broader Topix gained 1.8 percent to 761.88, with about six shares advancing for each that declined.

The Topix tumbled 17 percent this year through Oct. 14 amid concern the U.S. would fall into another recession while Europe’s crisis threatens to spread to the banking system. The slide has cut the price of shares on the index to 0.9 times estimated book value, near the lowest since March 2009.

Exporters Advance

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.4 percent today. The S&P 500 rose 1.7 percent in New York on Oct. 14, pushing the gauge to its biggest weekly gain since July 2009, after retail sales exceeding economists’ estimates, easing concern the world’s biggest economy will slow.

Exporters advanced. Honda Motor Co., which gets about 44 percent of its sales from North America, rose 3.6 percent to 2,329 yen. Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest automaker, gained 2.9 percent to 2,629 yen. Nintendo Co., maker of Wii game consoles, increased 3.2 percent to 12,150 yen.

G-20 finance ministers and central bankers concluded weekend talks in Paris, endorsing parts of an emerging plan to avoid a Greek default, bolster banks and curb contagion. They set an Oct. 23 summit of European leaders in Brussels as the deadline for it to be delivered.

Hurdles to a deal include resistance from bankers to a deeper restructuring of Greek debt as well as disagreements between Europe’s capitals over how to multiply the firepower of their bailout fund and recapitalize financial institutions.


Sony Corp., Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, surged 5 percent to 1,607 yen. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB posted third-quarter pretax profit of 31 million euros ($43 million), beating by 37 percent the average estimate of 22.6 million euros in a SME Direkt survey.

Olympus Corp., a maker of cameras and medical equipment, tumbled 24 percent to 1,555 yen, extending its slump for a second straight day. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by ousted President Michael C. Woodford said the company may face legal and regulatory scrutiny over payments made to advisers in 2008.

The company said it dismissed Woodford last week because he “wouldn’t listen” to Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa. The British executive said he was fired after challenging the transactions. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Nomura Holdings Inc. cut Olympus’s ratings after the ouster.

“The whole board is contaminated and that company needs to be cleaned up,” Woodford said in an interview yesterday.

--With assistance from Shani Raja in Sydney. Editors: Jason Clenfield, Jim Powell.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at; Masaaki Iwamoto in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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