Panasonic gets second chance with £4.7 BEEELION bailout

Banks rescue ANOTHER ailing Japanese electronics firm


Panasonic has persuaded Japanese banks to throw it a lifeline after a record loss of ¥772.1bn (£6bn, $9.8bn) last fiscal year.

The heavy loss dropped the electronics group's cash reserves to ¥554.7bn (£4.4bn, $7bn) which still sounds like a fair amount but not when compared to the ¥1.97trn (£15.9bn, $25bn) it could lay its hands on in 2010.

Four banks agreed to give Panasonic ¥600bn (£4.7bn, $7.6bn) in loans to tide it over while it hopes that the world's contracting economies rebound, the Nikkei business daily reported. A big chunk of that change is coming from its main bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, with decreasing sums from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Resona Bank.

The bail-out is the biggest forked over for a private-sector Japanese firm so far this year. Sharp got a ¥360bn (£2.9bn, $4.6bn) loan from banks including Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Mizuho Corporate Bank last month and Renesas Electronics bagged ¥200bn (£1.6bn, $2.5bn), mostly from the government but also from other Japanese firms.

Japan's companies continue to take a battering from poor sales on big ticket electronics as most folk tighten their belts and decreasing profit from the sales they do manage to snag as the strong yen wreaks havoc on exports. ®

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