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JAPAN DAYBOOK: Bank of Japan Minutes, Bridgestone Earnings

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Japan releases minutes for a meeting in January, when it raised its growth forecast and predicted faster inflation. Bridgestone, the world’s largest tiremaker, reports annual earnings as record rubber prices add to costs.

WHAT TO WATCH *Bank of Japan Jan.24-25 policy meeting minutes 8:50 a.m. *Crude steel production for January 2 p.m. *Cabinet ministers hold briefings after 10 a.m. meeting.

EARNINGS *Bridgestone (5108 JT) 3 p.m. *Modec (6269 JT) NA.

EQUITY PREVIEW *77 Bank (8341 JT) will buy back 1.84 percent of its shares for up to 4 billion yen. *Circle K Sunkus (3337 JT) raised its net income forecast for the year ending Feb. 28 by 12 percent to 6.5 billion yen. *Heiwa Real Estate (8803 JT) plans to raise as much as 13.4 billion yen by selling shares to the public and to Mitsubishi Estate Co. (8802 JT). *Okamoto Industries (5122 JT) will buy back up to 0.9 percent of outstanding shares for 350 million yen, and cancel 4.3 percent of outstanding shares. *Trend Micro (4704 JT) net income for the year ended Dec. 31 fell 28 percent to 12.7 billion yen. *Yamato Holdings (9064 JT) plans to sell 20 billion yen of five-year, zero-coupon convertible bonds to buy back shares.

ANALYST RATINGS FOR NIKKEI 225 COMPANIES *Sumitomo Metal Industries (5405 JT) raised to outperform at Mitsubishi UFJ. *Sumitomo Osaka Cement (5232 JT) raised to outperform at Daiwa.

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