TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. raised its stakes in several Toyota Group companies during the last fiscal year at a cost of about ¥70 billion, or $500 million at current exchange rates.
Toyota also raised its stakes in affiliated carmaker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truckmaker Hino Motors Ltd.
Many of the purchases came when Toyota scooped up shares unloaded by banks and other financial institutions, Toyota spokesman Koki Konishi said. Many troubled Japanese financial institutions sold shares last year to prop up their balance sheets.
Even if Toyota's main objective was to prop up its affiliates' stock prices, Toyota has further cemented relationships within the group by buying the shares.
Konishi denied that the purchases were a part of any deliberate plan to tighten ties within the group.
The purchases left Toyota's holdings just shy of the key 25 percent level in Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd., Denso Corp., Aisin Seiki Co. and Aichi Steel Works Ltd.
Many of those companies also hold stakes in Toyota. Under Japanese law, if Toyota owns 25 percent of, say, Toyoda Automatic Loom, then the latter company would not be allowed to vote its 5.1 percent stake in Toyota at the automaker's annual meeting.