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Astellas, Nissan, Kobe Steel, Tepco: Japan Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in Japanese trading today. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and share prices are as of the latest close. The information in each item was released after markets shut unless stated otherwise.

Astellas Pharma Inc. (4503 JT): Japan’s second-biggest drug manufacturer will pay $76 million to buy out partner Maxygen Inc. and make Perseid Therapeutics LLC a wholly owned subsidiary. The stock was little changed at 2,893 yen.

Japan Bridge Corp. (5912 JT): The bridge builder widened its full-year net loss forecast to 650 million yen from 270 million yen, citing costs from a severance package program and sale of fixed assets. The stock gained 3.1 percent to 201 yen.

Japan Cash Machine Co. (6418 JO): The maker of money-changing devices more than doubled its full-year net income outlook to 630 million yen from 290 million yen. The stock slipped 1.7 percent to 621 yen. Inc. (3325 JT): The online retailer of health-related products said it will sell new shares to a subsidiary of Rakuten Inc. (4755 JQ), an internet shopping site operator. rose 1.7 percent to 43,800 yen. Rakuten increased 0.9 percent to 75,000 yen.

Kobe Steel Ltd. (5406 JT): The steelmaker will restart production from March 18 at an aluminum plant in Tochigi prefecture closed after Japan’s March 11 earthquake. The plant suffered no damage in the quake and will resume full production by March 22, the company said in a statement. The stock was unchanged at 192 yen.

Mazda Motor Corp. (7261 JT): Japan’s second-largest car exporter will halt its auto production in Japan until March 21, delaying its plan to resume output by a day, the company said in a faxed statement. The stock jumped 5.3 percent to 178 yen.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411 JT): Mizuho Bank Ltd. ATM systems are again inoperable nationwide, public broadcaster NHK reported. ATM and Internet banking systems went down earlier yesterday due to a system failure, but were restarted in the afternoon. The stock lost 1.5 percent to 135 yen.

Nikon Corp. (7731 JT): Notion VTEC Bhd., a Malaysian metal processor and tools maker, is discussing with Nikon on the possibility of relocating the Japanese company’s machining works from its Sendai plant to the Southeast Asian country, OSK Research Sdn. said in a report. Nikon sank 2.5 percent to 1,551 yen.

Nissan Motor Co. (7201 JT): Japan’s No. 2 carmaker by sales is in talks about buying more than 25 percent of OAO AvtoVAZ in a bid to secure control of the Russian carmaker with partner Renault SA. Nissan is discussing with AvtoVAZ shareholders Troika Dialog and Russian Technologies Corp. about acquiring the stake over several years, Serguei Skvortsov, Troika Dialog’s managing director, said by phone. The stock slid 1.1 percent to 733 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT): Asia’s largest utility, which is struggling to prevent a meltdown at a nuclear power plant, expects to connect a power line to the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant as early as tonight to help restart the cooling system, NHK reported. Radiation levels at Tepco’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor were almost unchanged after being doused with water yesterday morning, the company said in a press conference broadcast on NHK television. The stock plunged 13 percent to 798 yen.

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