TOKYO , Dec. 18 -- ( Kyodo ) _ ---------- Japanese IPOs set to hit 6-year high in 2013 on stock market upsurge TOKYO - The number of initial public offerings in Japan in 2013 is expected to rise to a six-year high of 54, supported by a stock market upsurge over the past year, Japan Press Exchange Group Inc. said Wednesday. The figure is almost triple the very low level of 19 in 2009, following the September 2008 Lehman shock, and the highest since 2007, when nearly 100 companies went public in Japan . ---------- ANA to start direct flight to Dusseldorf from Japan TOKYO - All Nippon Airways Co. said Wednesday it will launch a direct flight to Dusseldorf from Narita airport near Tokyo on March 30 for the first time to meet solid business demand in the area where many Japanese businesses have made inroads. The Japanese airline also said it will launch a direct daily round-trip flight to Munich and double flights to Frankfurt from Tokyo's Haneda airport starting from March 30 , after the Japanese government allotted the airline 11 new international departure and arrival slots from next March. ---------- Malaysia leader's approval rating slides due to economic concerns KUALA LUMPUR - The approval rating of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has hit the lowest point since he took office in 2009, according to survey results released Wednesday. The opinion poll conducted by Merdeka Center among 1,055 registered voters in December showed Najib's approval rating has declined to 52 percent from 62 percent in August when the center's last poll was conducted. ---------- Abe aide rejects setting up secrecy law oversight panel outside gov't TOKYO - An adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday dismissed the idea of setting up a third-party oversight panel outside the government to monitor the designation and declassification of state secrets. "Nowhere in the world is there a system where people outside of the government are the ones monitoring," Yosuke Isozaki , a member of the House of Councillors from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party , said in a speech in Tokyo . ---------- TEPCO decides permanent shutdown of 2 surviving Fukushima reactors TOKYO - Tokyo Electric Power Co. decided Wednesday to declare defunct the two reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that suffered no major damage in the 2011 disaster, a move that will reduce the number of operable commercial reactors in Japan to 48. "With this decision, all of the plant's six reactors will be classified as defunct," the utility said in a press release following a meeting of the TEPCO board. "It is extremely regrettable that we hugely betrayed the local people's trust due to the accident and are deeply ashamed of ourselves." ---------- India central bank leaves key rate unchanged MUMBAI - India's central bank said Wednesday it decided to keep the rate at which it lends to banks unchanged at 7.5 percent, contrary to economists' speculation it would raise the key rate to counter inflation. The Reserve Bank of India , in a statement, said its policy decision to keep the repo rate steady was "a close one."
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