Jupiter Telecom Surges in Tokyo, but Mistaken Identity Sends J-Com Soaring, Too

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In Asia Tuesday, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index added 0.2%, ending the day at 10,034. Markets in Hong Kong and China were closed for the Chinese New Year holiday. Perhaps investors were in a buying mood after Yukio Hatoyama again assured the public that he will not raise consumption taxes during his term as Prime Minister, as reported in the Japan Times. Japanese currently pay 5% tax on the goods and services they buy.Commodity companies rose today, sending the Nikkei higher. Petroleum company Showa Shell Sekiyu KK surged 2%, Sumitomo Metal Mining gained 1.8% and iron and steel company Marubeni Corp. rose 1.6%. Japanese lenders retreated today: Promise plumetted 8.6%, Acom plunged 8.2%, and Takefuji fell 5.6%. The industry was hurt by Citigroup downgrading its rating of the industry.

But the real drama unfolded as Jupiter Telecommunications soared 17% after Sumitomo Corp. made an offer of about 122 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in cash, according to Bloomberg, dwarfing KDDI Corp.'s bid to become the major shareholder in the company. Jupiter offers a wide range of cable, phone and internet services, including an earthquake alert service that works in conjunction with the Japan Meteorological Agency to predict tremors and broadcast warnings.

An unintended consequence of the buying frenzy surrounding Jupiter was a surge in J-Com Holdings, a jobs agency. Investors seem to have mistakenly put their money into J-COM instead of Jupiter, which goes by the brand name J:COM. The jobs agency's stock gained as much as 8.6% during the day, according to Bloomberg, before investors corrected their mistake, still leaving shares 3.1% higher by the end of the session.

Bell-Park, a phone company that sells old-fashioned land line services and also deals in mobile phones surged 7.1%. In particular, the company operates shops that sell phones for Softbank. Softbank's range of phones includes Color Life mobiles, which come in a range of 15 vibrant colors. Softbank's shares increased 1.2% in today's trading.

Suncity Co., a Japanese condominium developer racked up a 16% gain today, after announcing that it expects to make a profit this year, reports Bloomberg. The Tokyo-based developer builds condos in urban areas, including earthquake-resistant houses. Perhaps the promise of low taxes and a recovering economy are sparking renewed interest in home ownership.
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