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Kaneka Shares Surge on Start of Solar Home Electric System Sales

Kaneka Corp. gained the most in two weeks in Tokyo trading after the Japanese maker of synthetic resins was reported to have started operating a unit to sell home solar-power systems.

The shares rose as much as 4.7 percent to 582 yen, the biggest increase since March 30, and traded at 566 yen at 2:25 p.m. local time.

Kaneka aims to sell 20 billion yen ($240 million) of solar systems by March 2013 and raise its market share to 10 percent from about 1 to 3 percent, Kaneka spokesman Takeji Kobuki said by phone when asked to respond to a Nikkei newspaper report on the plans. The report didn’t say where it got the information.

The unit, which began operating on April 11, has nearly doubled its sales staff from when it was first created in October, Kobuki said.

Japan is increasingly looking at alternative energy following the March 11 earthquake in the northeast that crippled nuclear reactors. The country has experienced rolling blackouts and faces more power shortages in the coming months.

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