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Island’s largest construction company facing hard times

Date Posted: 2007-02-23

Okinawa’s biggest construction company is unsuccessfully struggling to meet its bank loan obligations.

No jobs and no money has sent Daiyone Construction Company president Yonezou Shimoji scrambling for money to placate the Bank of the Ryukyus. The company has been on hard times since 2002, working to meet the debts but still unable to pay back its ¥8,000,000,000 in loans.

Shimoji’s new move is to spin off operations and create a new, separate company geared only to construction work. That would put the unprofitable business side in another company. The new company will also bear the name Daiyone Construction Company, but stock holders are raising an eyebrow. Investors are wondering how the two Daiyone Construction Companies will come together, and what will happen to the investment with the still unprofitable business side remaining. Some suggest the company will sell off corporate assets to pay the bills.

Daiyone, founded in 1967 on Miyako Island, had earlier had investments in oil and the cargo ship business. The company became involved in hotels and golf courses when it moved to Naha City in 1982, and business began going downhill. The company has been grasping at contracts the past dozen years, trying to recoup its financial status and getting away from prior bad investments.

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