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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 07:55 GMT
NTT DoCoMo braces for loss
Man walks past NTT DoCoMo poster
NTT DoCoMo made links with firms US, European and Asia
Japanese mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo is reportedly set to write down the value of its overseas investments by more than half.

The write down will push the mobile operator into loss for the first time since its listing four years ago, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said.

NTT DoCoMo, the first mobile firm in the world to offer third generation services, has made expensive acquisitions to become a global brand.

"The enterprise value of our investment has declined. Of course we will deal with a decline in value in the light of the rules," said NTT DoCoMo president Keiji Tachikawa at a news conference after publication of the newspaper report.

Decision day

The decision on how much to write off would be made on Friday, he said.

It will be based on the closing share price of AT&T Wireless, the biggest single chunk of the loss.

The Japanese firm paid $9.8bn for the 16% stake in AT&T Wireless, the third biggest wireless carrier in the US.

NTT DoCoMo's share price has dropped 60% since their February 2000 peak, at the height of its spending spree.

Altogether, it is expected to write off 1 trillion yen ($7.54bn) of assets, the report said.

Write-down wave

It is bracing for a net loss of around 100bn yen in the year to March 31, in sharp contrast to profits of 365.5 bn yen the previous year, the newspaper said.

Also included in the write down will be a 185bn yen investment in Hutchison 3G.

NTT DoCoMo has become the latest in a list of telecoms and tech firms forced to grapple with the fact that assets bought at the height of the boom in technology stocks are now worth considerably less than they paid for them.

AOL Time Warner recently said it would take a charge of $54bn to cover the fall in the value of the group's shares since the merger of AOL and Time Warner.

AT&T shares are now worth about $9, compared to $22 in NTT DoCoMo's books.

See also:

22 Feb 02 | Business
The secret of NTT's i-mode success
28 Jan 02 | Business
NTT DoCoMo shares surge
24 Aug 01 | Business
NTT DoCoMo in European tie-up
27 Sep 00 | Business
AOL seals Japan telecoms deal
17 Sep 01 | Business
Vodafone targets Japanese takeover
27 Jul 00 | Business
AOL, NTT DoCoMo 'in talks'
09 May 00 | Business
NTT, KPN in mobile deal
24 Apr 01 | Business
DoCoMo: Racing to 3G launch
11 Oct 00 | Business
Japan's m-commerce boom
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