• Kyodo

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Midsize construction firm Morimoto Corp. said Wednesday it has given up trying to turn its fortunes around on its own and has filed for court-led rehabilitation.

The Osaka-based builder, established in 1890, is listed on the first section of the Osaka Securities Exchange and has about 1,000 employees.

The firm asked the Osaka District Court to place it under the fast-track Civil Rehabilitation Law. It has liabilities totaling 215.3 billion yen.

Of that sum, Morimoto owes about 80 billion yen to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., a core unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.

Morimoto was once a major contractor for government and public agencies. But the economic slump and intensified competition have reduced orders and eaten away at profitability.

Kumagai Gumi earns Hong Kong contract

Ailing construction firm Kumagai Gumi Co. said Wednesday it has won a joint contract to build a tunnel along a highway connecting Hong Kong’s international airport and northern Kowloon.

The 2.1-km tunnel will be jointly built by Kumagai Gumi and Australia’s Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd., the Japanese firm said. The contract is worth a total of 28 billion yen. Construction work will begin Oct. 15.

Kumagai Gumi meanwhile said it has completed the issuance of new shares totaling 30 billion yen and has received payments. The shares were issued mainly to its creditor banks.

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