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鉄鋼再編 国際競争激化が促した大合併

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 6, 2011)
Merger of steelmakers prompted by global race
鉄鋼再編 国際競争激化が促した大合併(2月5日付・読売社説)

A gigantic steelmaker will be born in Japan with the aim of surviving fierce competition from foreign rivals.
 海外企業との激しい競争に勝ち残ることを目指し、日本に巨大鉄鋼メーカーが誕生する。

Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd.--Japan's largest and third-largest steelmakers, respectively--agreed to merge by October 2012. Though they started capital and business tie-ups in 2002, the two companies have decided this time to also integrate management.
 国内最大手の新日本製鉄と、3位の住友金属工業が、2012年10月をメドに合併することで合意した。02年に資本提携していたが、経営統合に踏み込む。

Their combined annual production of crude steel will become the biggest in Asia and second biggest in the world after ArcelorMittal, headquartered in Luxembourg.
 両社を合わせた粗鋼生産量は、アルセロール・ミッタル(ルクセンブルク)に次ぐ世界2位、アジア最大に浮上する。

Not only the steel industry, but also other industrial sectors in Japan are characterized by tough competition among several major companies. Japanese companies are engaged in a domestic war of attrition, and it is often noted they have become too exhausted to do battle against business giants in other countries. We expect this latest large corporate realignment to affect other industries and to lead to strengthening the competitive edge of Japanese companies in general.
 日本の産業界は鉄鋼に限らず、複数の有力企業がしのぎを削るのが特徴だ。消耗戦が続き、海外の巨大企業に対抗できない例が目立つ。今回の大型再編が他産業にも波及し、日本企業の競争力強化につながることを期待したい。

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Race on for new markets

The merger of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal was prompted by intensified competition in markets of newly emerging economies such as China and India.
 新日鉄と住金に合併を促したのは、中国、インドなど新興国市場での競争の激化である。

Nippon Steel has an advantage in manufacturing high-function steel sheets for automobiles and electric appliances, while Sumitomo Metal excels in making seamless pipes. But the domestic market for such products is shrinking. On the other hand, the global market, including markets in up-and-coming countries with booming economies, is growing rapidly.
 新日鉄は自動車や電機向けの高機能鋼板に強みがあり、住金はシームレスパイプが得意だが、国内市場は縮小傾向が続く。これと対照的に、好景気の新興国を中心に世界市場は急成長している。

ArcelorMittal is aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions, while Chinese and South Korean steelmakers have launched offensives by increasing output. In reality, Japanese makers have been forced to play defense.
 大胆なM&A(合併・買収)を続けるアルセロールだけでなく、中国や韓国大手が生産増強で攻勢をかけ、日本メーカーは守勢に立たされているのが実態だ。

Japanese automakers and electronic appliance manufacturers, which consume a huge amount of steel, are quickly increasing local production in newly emerging economies. Japanese steelmakers will fail to serve such customer needs if they cannot expand production in those countries.
 自動車や電機メーカーなど、鉄鋼を大量に使う企業も新興国での現地生産を加速中だ。日本の鉄鋼各社が現地での生産を拡大できなければ、せっかくの顧客ニーズに応えられなくなる。

To deal with this problem, the merged companies aim to build factories and strengthen their production capability in newly emerging economies with a reinforced management base.
 このため、今回の合併には、経営基盤の強化で、新興国に工場を新設し、生産体制を増強する狙いが込められている。

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Resource prices merger factor

The steel industry also feels threatened by soaring resource prices with the emergence of resource giants that produce and sell iron ore and other raw materials. Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal apparently expect their larger size will reinforce their bargaining power on resource prices.
 鉄鋼業界にとって、鉄鉱石などを産出・販売する資源メジャーが台頭し、資源価格が高騰していることも脅威だ。新日鉄と住金には規模拡大で価格交渉力を強めたいとの思惑もあろう。

With the merger, the two firms are highly likely to trim their operations by taking actions such as eliminating and consolidating their blast furnaces. At the same time, it is extremely important to maintain employment in Japan. Hollowing out of the domestic labor force should be avoided as much as possible.
 合併を機に、両社は、高炉の統廃合など業務スリム化を推し進める可能性が高い。しかし、その場合でも、国内の雇用維持は極めて重要だ。空洞化はできるだけ避けてほしい。

Now, attention will turn to scrutiny of the merger by the Fair Trade Commission, which will decide whether to approve the deal or not.
 今後の焦点は、両社の合併を認めるかどうか、公正取引委員会の審査に移る。

The new company created by the merger would make up nearly 45 percent of the crude steel produced in Japan. However, its share in the global market would be just 3 percent.
 合併で新会社の粗鋼生産量の国内シェア(市場占有率)は45%近くに達する。しかし、海外でのシェアは約3%に過ぎない。

The FTC tends to emphasize domestic share, but it should approve the merger as soon as possible from the viewpoint of enhancing the international competitiveness of the Japanese steel industry.
 公取委は国内シェアを重視しがちだが、国際競争力の強化を図る観点から、合併を早期に認めるべきであろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 5, 2011)
(2011年2月5日01時21分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-02-06 08:10 | 英字新聞

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