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No. 356, May 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


HITACHI AMERICA CAPITAL, LTD. now is responsible for providing financing and financial support to all HITACHI, LTD. subsidiaries and Hitachi Group companies operating in North America. A wholly owned subsidiary of Brisbane, California- headquartered HITACHI AMERICA, LTD., the new company was set up to improve Hitachi's access to U.S. capital markets. Over time, Hitachi America Capital is expected to put together the infrastructure that will enable Hitachi's numerous American and Canadian industrial and consumer electronics businesses to expand without having to draw on the financial resources of the parent or other Japanese sources.

As part of its strategy of redeploying assets to provide the maximum return on investments, particularly in its core business areas, SUMITOMO CORP. sold its wholly owned PHOENIXCOR, INC. equipment financing subsidiary to GE CAPITAL CORP. The trader acquired the Norwalk, Connecticut lessor of equipment to the middle market in 1992. The 90-employee Phoenixcor, which has some $900 million in lease assets, earned a net profit of $10 million or so in FY 1998. It will be part of GE Capital's Danbury, Connecticut-based Commercial Equipment Financing unit. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but informed sources estimate that GE Capital paid Sumitomo at least $83.3 million for Phoenixcor.

Two more first-tier regional banks are ending U.S. operations. HACHIJUNI BANK, LTD., which is based in Nagano prefecture, and Gifu prefecture-headquartered JUROKU BANK, LTD. are closing their New York branches, the only American presence of both banks, although Hachijuni Bank plans to maintain a representative office in Manhattan to collect economic and financial information.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa

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