Big firms hike reserves, not wages

Kyodo

Major companies are accelerating the buildup of internal reserves and limiting wage hikes despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call to raise wages to overcome deflation, according to a Kyodo News survey.

At the end of March or May, internal reserves at 30 major firms had grown by ¥6 trillion, or 8.2 percent from the previous year, to ¥77.64 trillion. In the previous three years, 100 firms expanded such reserves at an annual pace of 2 to 4 percent.

Toyota Motor Corp. topped the internal reserves ranking with ¥12.69 trillion at the end of March, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. with ¥6.27 trillion, up 11.9 percent.

The other two megabanks also saw high growth in internal reserves, or retained earnings, with reserves at Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. growing 30.6 percent and reserves at Mizuho Financial Group Inc. up 29.2 percent.