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First-half bankruptcies recede to 22-year low

Kyodo

Corporate bankruptcies logged a 10.9 percent drop in the first six months of the year to 5,620, the lowest first-half level seen in 22 years, a credit research agency said Monday.

Tokyo Shoko Research also said that liabilities left by failing businesses that had at least ¥10 million in debt also dropped, by 10.4 percent, to ¥1.80 trillion from January to June, thanks to a drop in large bankruptcies.

In June alone, bankruptcies fell 8.0 percent from the previous year to 897, bringing the drop in failures to eight consecutive months.

Total debt left by failed firms in the reporting month, however, more than doubled to ¥383.7 billion, largely because of the asset meltdown at ITM Securities Co., an affiliate of scandal-hit AIJ Investment Advisors Co., the firm at the center of a huge pension fund fraud.

For the half, a Tokyo Shoko official said that debt repayment moratoriums organized under the financing facilitation law for small businesses, helped reduce some of the bankruptcies. The law expired at the end of March.

Out of 10 major industries, seven, including construction, retail, and real estate, saw fewer bankruptcies in the first half, while the remaining three industries, including transportation, saw more failures caused by fuel costs driven up by the hammering of the yen under “Abenomics.”

Seven out of the nation’s nine economic regions saw a fewer bankruptcies, but in Tohoku, which saw abundant demand for reconstruction projects after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, bankruptcies climbed for the first time in five years.