June 12, 2024

Image for article titled Toyota's new problem: Banks want out

Photo: Ralph Orlowski (Getty Images)

Toyota’s been in a tough spot recently, what with all the cheating and cheating and also the cheating. Now, things are getting worse, with big banks looking to pull their money out of the automaker — though it doesn’t seem the turmoil is to blame. From Reuters:

Japan’s two biggest banks will start divesting their strategic shareholdings in Toyota Motor – worth a combined $8.5 billion – and will seek to sell into the automaker’s planned share buybacks, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing sources.

The unwinding of shareholdings by the banks in Toyota, one of Japan’s most prestigious companies, would underscore how corporate governance reforms are increasingly taking root amid pressure from the government and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The country’s governance code now requires companies to annually assess whether the purpose of a cross-shareholding is appropriate.

The banks’ holdings in Toyota would be sold over a period of several years, Bloomberg said.

Toyota did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in Japanese corporate governance, but the timing here does seem awfully convenient if these banks are looking to preserve their funds from further losses.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik’s The Morning Shift.

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