UK-Japan News April 2019

Drug maker exits
Ahead of Brexit, Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi has announced plans to merge its UK and Dutch subsidiaries and move its European headquarters from London to Amsterdam. (Tech Register, 10 March)

$1bn no-deal?
On the heels of factory upheaval in Sunderland, Honda, Nissan and Toyota could collectively lose $1bn should the UK embark on a no-deal Brexit. This according to calculations by Moody’s Investors Service, announced on 11 March, which cite the impact a 10% tariff imposed on the UK by the EU would have on the Japanese carmakers. (The Guardian, 11 March)

Pound pushed aside
Activity of Japanese investors in February saw ¥103.5bn of UK bonds offloaded, according to data released by the Japanese Ministry of Finance on 8 April. The data showed ¥632.7bn in bond purchases overall during the period, with significant money shifted to France and Germany. The report speculated, “It was probably difficult for Japanese investors to invest in UK bonds as prospects for a Brexit outcome continued to change very rapidly”. (Bloomberg, 8 April)

Tech Growth
On a positive note, Softbank-backed Uhuru, a Japanese cloud-service startup with a three-person London office, is looking to list on the London Stock Exchange and grow its UK staff to 100 within a few years. Despite the risk posed by Brexit, Uhuru Chief Executive Takashi Sonoda said, “The London market is very appealing in terms of the amount of capital that can be obtained, and the higher profile would give credibility when dealing with global partners”. 
(Deal Street Asia, 11 March)