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Japan Stocks: Honda, KDDI, Mizuho, Nippon Steel, Softbank

Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average fell 119.06, or 1.4 percent, to 8,622.10 as of 9:42 a.m. in Tokyo. The following are among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Japanese Banks: BNP Paribas SA initiated coverage of seven major banks, and rated the industry as “deteriorating.” The prospect of an improvement in the profitability of the banks is small, and return of equity is unlikely to improve, BNP said in a report today.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411) (8411 JT), which was rated “reduce” by BNP, slipped 0.9 percent to 113 yen. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) (8306 JT), which was rated “hold” by BNP, declined 2.1 percent to 330 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) (8316 JT), rated “buy” by BNP, dropped 1.9 percent to 2,087 yen.

Honda Motor Co. (7267 JT), Japan’s third-largest carmaker, fell 3.8 percent to 2,278 yen. The company is spending $50 million to expand a transmission factory in Ohio as it upgrades U.S. assembly operations and works to restore full production slowed by an earthquake.

Japan Steel Works Ltd. (5631) (5631 JT), a maker of machinery for castings, fell 2.1 percent to 462 yen. The company said it plans to pay a dividend of 10 yen per share this fiscal year, compared with 12 yen the previous year.

KDDI Corp. (9433) (9433 JT), a mobile-phone operator, rose 1.9 percent to 641,000 yen. Nikkei Business magazine reported the company will begin selling the iPhone 5 in Japan. Softbank Corp. (9984) (9984 JT), currently the sole iPhone seller in Japan, dropped 6.5 percent to 2,432 yen.

Kintetsu Department Store Co. (8244 JO), a retailer, dropped 4.6 percent to 185 yen. The company said it plans to raise 24.8 billion yen ($325 million) by selling 128.9 million shares to Kintetsu Corp. and seven other companies. The company also reported a first-half net loss of 9.9 billion yen, compared with its forecast of a 400 million yen profit, the company said in a preliminary earnings statement.

Nippon Steel Corp. (5401) (5401 JT), a steel producer, lost 1.7 percent to 230 yen. Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (5405) (5405 JT) declined 1.8 percent to 166 yen. The companies have settled on an outline for a planned merger that will leave Nippon Steel as the surviving entity, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without citing anyone. The merger ratio will be about 0.7 Nippon Steel shares for every Sumitomo Metal share, the report said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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