Asahi Glass upped to buy

Deutsche Securities said on 2 April that it had raised its investment rating on Asahi Glass Co Ltd, Japan“s biggest glassmaker, to buy from market perform and set a target price for the stock at JPY …

Deutsche Securities said on 2 April that it had raised its investment rating on Asahi Glass Co Ltd, Japan“s biggest glassmaker, to buy from market perform and set a target price for the stock at JPY 1,000. Shares of Asahi Glass were up 5.12% at JPY 842, better than the benchmark Nikkei average“s 0.76% rise. The brokerage said the firm“s recent restructuring efforts were behind the upgrade. A Deutsche analyst said they were encouraged by the firm“s move to lower the number of board members down to 7 from 20, and their decision to bring in foreigners to head up some of Asahi“s divisions. Late on 1 April, Asahi had cut its group net profit target for the year to March 2004 by 38%, citing worsening conditions in its electronics and display businesses. It also said it plans to close a plant that makes glass parts for cathode ray tubes by the end of 2003 while also cutting its workforce by 200, or about 3%.