Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 345, June 1998

Issue Index

Japanese Companies in the US


FINANCIAL SERVICES

The ranks of primary dealers -- companies that buy and sell U.S. government securities through direct deals with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York -- are being thinned by two to 34. EASTBRIDGE CAPITAL INC. is closing down because of the troubled status of its parent. NIPPON CREDIT BANK, LTD. formed Eastbridge in 1989 in partnership with American interests. When NCB outlined a restructuring plan in April 1997, it said that the New York City company, which employs about 50 people, would be sold. .....Meanwhile, SANWA BANK, LTD. is in the process of liquidating SANWA SECURITIES (U.S.A.) CO. as part of a plan to concentrate its American operations on more profitable activities. Formed in 1980, the Manhattan-based firm has about 140 people on the payroll. Henceforth, the big commercial bank will focus its securities-related business in this country on derivatives via New York City's SANWA FINANCIAL PRODUCTS CO., LLP. Sanwa Bank also will continue to engage in futures trading through SANWA FUTURES, LLC of Chicago.

The strong American economy has persuaded ORIX CORP. that now is the time to make money on the sale of its wholly owned Secaucus, New Jersey leasing subsidiary. Japan's top lessor bought what became ORIX CREDIT ALLIANCE CORP. in September 1989 for $190 million. The business, which leases construction and transportation equipment from offices across the country, reported a pretax profit of $72 million on revenues of $248 million in the year through March 1997. OCAC's pretax profit has been expanding by 17 percent a year on average since Orix bought the firm.

MITSUI MARINE & FIRE INSURANCE CO., LTD. is the first Japanese property and casualty insurer to participate in the Catastrophe Risk Exchange or CATEX. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, the computer-based trading exchange allows insurers and reinsurers to diversify their potential liabilities. Using an open bid and ask system, they can trade risks that they have written with other companies that have written risks in different geographic locations and have insured various types of property against a variety of different perils.

An exchange rate of ¥135=$1.00 was used in this report.
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