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Japanese Telecom Giant Issues Profit Warning - 2002-04-05

A Japanese telecom giant has issued a profit warning and a major construction firm has gone bankrupt.

NTT, Japan's dominant telecoms group, says it will lose more than $6 billion this year. It is the largest loss ever by a Japanese company outside of the financial sector. NTT blames its woes on restructuring costs and unsuccessful overseas investments in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Keiji Tachikawa, the president of NTT's mobile phone division, defends the company's global expansion strategy and says that its deals with a number of foreign partners are right on track.

Another Japanese builder has declared bankruptcy. Nissan Construction has filed for court protection from creditors with about $860 million in liabilities. The company was hurt by the collapse of supermarket chain Mycal, one of its owners. It is the second listed builder to go under this year.

Mizuho Holdings, the world's biggest bank in terms of assets, re-launched Monday as two separate financial companies. Mizuho Bank will serve individuals and small businesses while Mizuho Corporate Bank will work with larger clients. The reorganization follows the formation of Mizuho Holdings in 1999 with the merger of three major Japanese banks.

Tadashi Kudo, President of Mizuho Bank, said that he is determined to cut costs. He adds that the company will strive to win the trust of customers. But like other financial groups in Japan, Mizuho is struggling to write-off a mountain of bad loans.