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A logo of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp is seen on the company's headquarters in Tokyo May 29, 2012.
A logo of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp is seen on the company's headquarters in Tokyo May 29, 2012.
(Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Puzzling over Japan’s trading houses

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Company pays less for the asset it wanted and shares duly pop higher. So far, so to be expected. Marubeni Corp. ditching the energy unit of Gavilon, the grain trader it agreed to buy last year and paying $2.6-billion (U.S.), $1-billion less, is a good move. But as one of the global group of giant trading houses, that is about as clear as it gets.