Orient Leads Japan Consumer Lenders Higher on BOJ Easing Outlook

Orient Corp. (8585) rose the most this year in Tokyo trading, leading Japanese consumer lenders higher in anticipation of deeper monetary easing under new central bank leadership.

Orient, a provider of services from credit cards to loan guarantees, jumped 26 percent, making it the biggest gainer on the benchmark Topix Index, to 301 yen at 1:42 p.m. local time. Aiful Corp. (8515), which has more than tripled in the past six months, surged 17 percent to 545 yen.

Bank of Japan (8301) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who took the post this week after pledging to do whatever is needed to end the country’s deflation, is scheduled to brief the press on monetary policy later today. Additional easing may help to reduce consumer lenders’ borrowing costs, according to investment adviser Yoku Ihara.

“The non-bank sector is pretty cheap and monetary easing will improve the financing environment and boost the economy,” said Ihara, who works at Retela Crea Securities Co. in Tokyo.

Japan’s consumer credit industry is showing signs of a recovery from regulations that forced lenders to cap rates and refund overcharged interest. The crackdown led to the bankruptcy of Takefuji Corp. in 2010 and prompted some politicians to consider easing the rules.

Acom Co. (8572), the country’s largest consumer lender and partly owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., rose 6.3 percent today, extending its six-month gain to 24 percent. J Trust Co., which bought Takefuji last year, climbed 15 percent and has more than doubled since September.

To contact the reporter on this story: Takako Taniguchi in Tokyo at ttaniguchi4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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