BNY Mellon AM: consecuencias empresariales y energéticas de la crisis nipona

Un mes después del terremoto en Japón, Laurie Carroll, estratega global de BNY Mellon Cash Investment Strategies, parte de BNY Mellon AM, considera que los costes estimados de la crisis alcanzarán los 25 billones de yenes, es decir 295.000 millones de dólares en el informe 

"Disaster in Japan: continuing assessment of its impact".



Para la experta, la tragedia de Japón conducirá a inesperadas disrupciones en la cadena de oferta y a cambios en algunos mercados de materias primas, creando un ambiente de operaciones más tenso y complicado de lo habitual. En este contexto, algunas firmas químicas tanto europeas como estadounidenses podrían beneficiarse, así como las automovilísticas, mientras las tecnológicas podrían ver complicaciones debido a esos problemas en las cadenas de oferta.

En general, en la gestora esperan que esos impactos sean modestos y manejables en las compañías en concreto, pues las firmas líderes de la industria podrían expermientar un crecimiento de los beneficios menor que el esperado previamente, “pero no anticipamos consecuencias adversas”, comentan. Con respecto a los bancos japoneses, creen que tras cerrar el año fiscal el pasado 30 de marzo su rentabilidad fue “relativamente robusta”, por lo que problamente mantendrán este estado a lo largo del año próximo.



Lea el comentario completo en inglés a continuación:

One month since the 11 
The magnitude of earthquake, the ensuing tsunami, aftershocks and the ongoing 
nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant will undoubtedly have an impact on 
Japan’s economic activity. However, we believe that, as the third largest economy in 
the world with GDP of nearly US$6 trillion, the country has the capacity to work its way 
through the current crisis, with cost estimated to reach 25 trillion yen (US$295bn). The 
most affected areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima account for 4.1% of GDP. Given 
expectations that some of the industrial production can be shifted to areas that are 
unaffected and that the reconstruction effort will likely lead to increased private 
consumption, most economists have marginally lowered Japan’s 2011 GDP forecasts 
to a range of 1.0%-1.5%, which is about a half-percentage point lower than 
expectations prior to the earthquake. While there is a risk that growth assumptions 
could be revised lower, it is worth noting that Japan was able to register positive GDP 
growth in 1995 following the massive earthquake near Kobe, Japan.

Short duration debt markets 
Although Japan has an economy that is both the world’s third largest and among the 
world’s richest, the presence of Japanese borrowers in short duration credit markets is 
very modest, as Japan has its own corporate debt market and the domestic banks 
continue to be a major source of corporate funding. The Japanese issuers most 
commonly found in the US markets are the three major Japanese banks (Mitsubishi 
UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group), 
Toyota and Honda. However, almost all large global firms (the bread and butter of short-term corporate 
debt markets) have some level of sales or production exposure to Japan. In general, 
these exposures are very modest pieces of large, highly diversified franchises. Firms in 
general have not suffered catastrophic damage, such as destruction to a main factory, 
and damage is limited relative to the overall size of the firms.

Japanese banks 
In the current fiscal year, closing at the end of March, the Japanese banks have 
generated relatively robust profitability; consequently, we believe they should maintain 
sound profitability for the current year. The impacted areas of Fukushima and Miyagi 
are minor markets for the big banks; consequently, the macro factors will determine 
the banks’ health going forward. Because we expect a dip in economic growth, we also 
expect a rise in credit costs, which will thin already modest profitability levels. 
Additionally, the recent fall in the stock market presents a concern as further declines 
could start to eat at the banks’ capital. Overall, after March 30 we expect stability from 
the banks, but with weaker profitability; consequently, we would be a bit defensive. 
Japanese autos 
Toyota immediately closed all 22 of its Japanese plants, reopening seven parts plants 
on March 17. Estimates put lost production as high as 90,000 units, or 2.4% of 2011 
(year end 3/11) forecast revenues. There will likely be supply chain issues, but Toyota 
has already been engaged in shifting production from Japan to local markets to 
mitigate against a strengthening yen. Supply chain problems are likely to be a bigger 
headache for the Japanese makers than for non-Japanese makers, possibly putting 
the Japanese at a competitive disadvantage.

Supply chain issues 
Technology companies rely on Japan for raw materials such as substrates for circuit 
chips and boards, as well as components such as handset memory and small LCD 
screens. Inventory levels tend to be reported as ranging from six to eight weeks. 
Although production may not be interrupted by the events in Japan, companies may 
face shortages of some components or higher prices for parts that are in short supply. 
These factors could negatively impact margins in the short term or result in fewer 

Commodity prices 
Chemical companies would be positioned to benefit if shortages from Japan boost 
prices in already tight chemicals markets. The chemicals sector may also experience 
muted sales headwinds. Petrochemical producers would also likely benefit from 
reductions in Japanese exports of commodity chemicals. Japan’s scarcity of natural 
resources makes it a key consumer of metals and mining and multi-national oil; for 
example, it is a major buyer of LNG and coking coal (a key input for steel 
manufacturing). With a significant loss of electric generation capacity resulting from 
nuclear shut-downs, Japan will likely boost LNG consumption. We would expect the 
impact of commodity price movements, whether negative or positive, to be modest 
relative to a firm’s overall results and generally temporary in nature.

Other considerations 
The major pharmaceutical companies which have research collaborations and joint 
ventures with Japanese firms will see some temporary equity earnings reduction and 
research delays, but these challenges are unlikely to impact overall performance. It is 
reasonable to assume that additional safety measures will be required at nuclear 
plants in the US, which will result in increased expenses and capital expenditures to 
meet potential new standards. Over time, we would expect that regulated utilities 
would be allowed to recover most of the costs incurred to comply with any new nuclear 
regulations by increasing customer rates.


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