Currency Losses at Showa Shell: Showa Shell Sekiyu, one of Japan’s leading oil refiners, will take a loss of more than $1 billion after the refiner’s finance department bungled an attempt to profit in the currency market, Japanese media reported. Showa’s president, Takeshi Henmi, said the losses stemmed from speculative transactions in currency derivatives by several people in Showa’s finance department. Because the investments were not clearly recorded in the accounts, nobody outside the department knew about the problem until it was too late. The losses, the reports said, totaled $1.05 billion, more than three times the company’s estimated profits for the year ended in December. Company officials were not available for comment.
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