Amadeusz Juskowiak

Nippon kokan steel affiliates considering merger

Toshin Steel Co Ltd TOSST and Azuma Steel Co Ltd affiliates of Nippon Kokan KK NKKTT are considering a merger company spokesmen said

Toshin Steel owned 419 pct by Nippon Kokan and Azuma Steel owned 413 pct by Nippon Kokan are expected to decide by the end of March they said Both firms have been struggling with losses caused by the recession in the steel industry and the yens appreciation

Azuma Steels current losses are estimated at 31 billion yen in the year ending March 31 against a 699 billion loss a year earlier a spokesman said The firm employs 1100 workers

Toshin Steel with 1700 workers has given no forecast for the year ending March 31

But industry sources said they expected the company to show current losses of about five billion yen or more in 198687 compared with a 298 billion loss in 198586