Major risks that could have a serious impact on investor decisions associated with the business operations and other activities of Marubeni Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries are outlined below. The risks discussed, however, are not inclusive of the full range of possible risks faced in the broad range of activities engaged in by the Group. Any number of additional risks other than those discussed below could also impact business performance. Furthermore, risks considered to have a low likelihood of materializing have also been disclosed, from the perspective of ensuring proactive information disclosure. Forward-looking statements with respect to the risks discussed below reflect the reasonable judgment of the Company's management based on information available as of March 31, 2015.
The Company is a general trading company engaged in a wide range of business activities through bases in Japan and over 60 other countries. Examples include the production and procurement of natural resources and other primary commodities, as well as the manufacture and sale of finished goods and various commercial and investing activities in Japan and overseas in many industrial fields. As a result, the Group is impacted by the economic conditions prevailing in Japan and other countries where it has operations, as well as by the state of the global economy as a whole. Worsening economic conditions on either of these fronts could adversely affect the operating activities, business results, and financial condition of the Group.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries extend credit to business partners in the form of accounts receivable, advances, loans, guarantees, and other means. In addition, as a part of its sales activities, the Group concludes merchandise supply, subcontracting, operational outsourcing, and other types of contracts with business partners. The incurrence of credit risk due to the inability of business partners to fulfill their credit obligations or a breach of contract by
these business partners could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
To prevent credit risks from materializing, the Group conducts extensive risk management at the credit screening stage. Nevertheless, the Company is susceptible to a varietyof credit risks.
In preparation for the incurrence of possible losses when credit risk becomes apparent, the Group establishes allowances for doubtful accounts based on the estimated amount of loss, the business partner's creditworthiness, collateral value, and other set factors. In the event of such losses, however, the Company cannot guarantee that actual losses will not exceed these established allowances.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries, both independently and in collaboration with other companies, establish new companies and purchase existing enterprises in the course of their business operations. Most of these business investments require sizable amounts of capital. The Group may be unable to withdraw from such businesses in an optimal manner or time frame, in which case it would be obliged to commit additional capital.
In an effort to prevent the occurrence of risks associated with investments and other activities, the Group conducts extensive risk management, including checking new investments to determine whether expected returns are commensurate with the risks involved. Nevertheless, a decline in the value of these investments or the necessity of additional expenditures of capital could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
As part of their commercial and investment activities, Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries are concentrated in specific investment targets, markets, and regions, such as business operations in Indonesia. In the context of the Group's country risk management, the Company classifies countries according to their level of risk, and has established transaction management standards for each country and promotes efforts to ensure optimal portfolio management. Nevertheless, a deteriorating operating environment in these markets or regions could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries engage in fund procurement with an emphasis on maintaining an optimal mix of funding in line with the requirements of their respective asset portfolios and ensuring liquidity. However, significant disruptions in major global capital markets, shortages of cash flows from operating activities, declining profitability, failure in asset-liability management, or a sharp downgrade in the credit rating of the Group by ratings agencies could constrain fund procurement or lead to an increase in funding cost, which could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
1. Fluctuations in the Price of Goods and Merchandise
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries handle a variety of merchandise. In order to mitigate the risk of fluctuations in market conditions for certain merchandise, contracts, and scheduled contracts, the Group enters into commodity futures and forward contracts. However, changes in respective market conditions could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
In addition, the Group participates in energy and natural resource exploration and production (E&P) businesses and other manufacturing businesses. Fluctuations in the markets of the products sold through these activities could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
2. Market Liquidity (Liquidity Risk)
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries hold a variety of assets that are subject to market trading, including financial instruments. Financial market turmoil and other factors can cause the market liquidity of held assets to decline dramatically, a situation that could potentially trigger a precipitous drop in the value of held assets. Such an occurrence could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
3. Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries conduct transactions in a variety of currencies and under a variety of terms. In order to mitigate the risk of exchange rate fluctuations associated with transactions, receivables, and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies, the Group enters into forward exchange contracts and other derivative transactions. Despite these measures, fluctuations in exchange rates could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
4. Fluctuations in Interest Rates
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries procure necessary business funds through borrowings from financial institutions, the issuance of corporate bonds, and other methods of procuring from capital markets. A large portion of floating rate liabilities is proportionate to operating assets that can counteract adverse impacts of interest rate fluctuations. However, interest rate fluctuation risks cannot be completely eliminated, and a certain degree of exposure remains. Among the liabilities procured for interest insensitive assets, such as investment securities and property, plant and equipment, the portion at procured floating rates is categorized as unhedged through the asset-liability management practices of Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries. Monitoring market movements in interest rates, the Group utilizes interest rate swaps and other measures to mitigate the risk of interest rate fluctuations.
There is no guarantee that the Group will be able to completely avoid interest rate risk, even after having implemented these management measures. Therefore, changes in market interest rates could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
5. Fluctuations in Values of Marketable Securities Subject to Market Volatility
To strengthen business relationships and for other purposes, Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries invest in marketable securities that are subject to market volatility. Such securities held by the Group carry the risk of fluctuations in original value due to changes in fair value. Drops in the fair value of these securities could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
6. Risks Regarding Employees' Retirement Benefits
As the Group holds domestic and foreign stocks and bonds as pension assets, sluggish performance in securities markets could decrease the value of those assets or could require it to accumulate additional pension assets. Such an event could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries hold real estate, machinery and equipment, and other property, plant and equipment for sale and lease to other parties as well as for their own use. A decline in the value of these assets could potentially require the Group to recognize impairment losses. The Group accounts for impairment of property, plant and equipment in accordance with IFRS. Nevertheless, a dramatic decline in asset value could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
In the course of operations, Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries are subject to a broad range of laws and regulations both in Japan and other applicable countries. Changes in or unanticipated interpretations of these laws and regulations could increase the obligations pertaining to legal and regulatory compliance placed on the Group. Accordingly, changes or altered interpretations of laws and regulations may result in punitive measures, including the interruption of operations, lower the Company's credibility, or cause the occurrence of other circumstances that could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
In the course of business activities in Japan and overseas, Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries may be a party to litigation, disputes, and other legal proceedings. When party to such litigation, predicting the outcome is impossible given the inherent uncertainty of these matters. The Company cannot guarantee that such litigation will not adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries conduct business activities globally across a broad range of industries, and environmental pollution as a result of these activities could result in business stoppage, pollution remediation expenses, and legal fees in response to litigation by local residents. In addition, the Group's social reputation could be damaged. In the year ended March 31, 2000, an environmental management system was introduced to cope with such environmental risks, under which various initiatives have been implemented to assess the potential environmental burden and reduce environmental risk, including environmental impact evaluations for each new financing and development project. In the event, however, that some form of environmental impact occurs, it could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Earthquakes and other natural disasters could cause damage and loss to the Group's offices and facilities and inhibit the normal business activities of Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries. While every effort has been made to implement appropriate countermeasures, such as the formulation of business continuity plans, earthquake countermeasures, and fire prevention drills, the potential for damage from natural disasters cannot be completely mitigated. Consequently, there is no guarantee that such disasters will not adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Marubeni and its consolidated subsidiaries conduct business operations globally, and these operations are therefore exposed to risk from unexpected situations relating to terrorists and violent groups, as well as trends in politics and social factors. The materialization of such risks could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.
Negligence on the part of employees charged with executing business operations and malfunctions pertaining to computer systems supporting business activities are among other risks, the materialization of which could adversely affect the Group's business results and financial condition.