Japan's Nikkei slips on Cyprus bailout worries
* Nikkei eases 0.5 pct, Topix down 0.3 pct * Softbank rises after announcing tender offer on Gungho By Dominic Lau TOKYO, March 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average slipped on Tuesday after a senior euro zone official said the Cyprus rescue could be a new template to deal with other banking problems in the region. Gains in index heavyweight Softbank Corp, after its mobile unit said it will launch a tender offer to make game developer Gungho Online Entertainment Inc a consolidated subsidiary, helped limit the loss. The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 12,488.39, after rebounding 1.7 percent on Monday on the back of Cyprus agreeing a deal with international lenders to avert a collapse of its financial system. "We have seen some pretty good flows. We do have a bit of profit taking in some blue chips. I guess we are 50-50 (in buy and sell orders)," a senior dealer at a foreign bank in Tokyo said. However, he said some of the selling was coming from long-only investors. Among the blue chip companies that succumbed to profit taking included Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and construction equipment maker Komatsu Ltd, down between 0.5 and 1.1 percent. The Cyprus deal is forcing large uninsured depositors and bondholders to bear heavy losses, and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, said the Cyprus bailout represented a new model for resolving banking crises in the currency bloc. SOFTBANK OUTPERFORMS Mobile operator Softbank climbed 2.2 percent and was the most traded stock on the main board by turnover after its Softbank Mobile Corp said it would raise its stake in Gungho to 40 percent from 33.6 percent in a tender offer from April 1 to 26. Gungho sank 5.8 percent. Nomura Securities reiterated its 'buy' rating on Softbank, saying "for fiscal year 2013/14, when Softbank will move to IFRS, Softbank's existing 33.63 percent stake in Gungho will be valued at its March 29 closing price, and any valuation gains will be posted to operating profits based on IFRS accounting rules." The broader Topix index eased 0.3 percent to 1,044.02. The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 44 percent since mid-November, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled proposals during his election bid for expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to revive the economy. "At the end of May 2012, over 20 percent of Japanese stocks qualified as Deep Value. That number has since dropped to just 5 percent, making Japan the second-most expensive region on this basis behind the U.S.," Societe Generale wrote in a note. "Japan is now going to have to demonstrate improving fundamentals to warrant further upside." Japanese equities carry a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14.1, a level not seen since August 2010 and compared with U.S. S&P 500's 13.6, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream showed.
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