UPDATE 2-Japan’s Mitsui & Co shares slide on Gulf oil spill

* Shares fall 8.3 pct, hit 6-mth low

* Mitsui could face as much as $2 bln in costs -analyst

* Mitsui has no financial impact estimate yet -spokesman

By Sachi Izumi

TOKYO, June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Shares in Japanese trading house
Mitsui & Co Ltd (8031.T: ) plunged 8 percent to a six-month low on
Wednesday as investors worried about the impact of the prolonged
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on its earnings.

A Mitsui subsidiary owns 10 percent of the blown-out seabed
well and the slide in its shares comes after the latest failed
attempt to halt the spill and the U.S. government announcing a
criminal probe into the disaster. [ID:nN01115402]

Mitsui’s stock has lost more than one-fifth of its market
value, or around $7 billion, since the spill occurred on April
20.

CLSA analyst Penn Bowers said Mitsui may face $2 billion in
clean-up and legal costs, though much would depend on who was
found to be at fault.

“I think you have at least in Mitsui a case of people
panicking and getting out, and being unwilling to take a risk
that right now is very difficult to analyse,” he said.

BP Plc’s (BP.L: ) failure to stop the the six-week-old spill
with its “top kill” strategy sparked fears oil could leak until
August and punished related stocks, including Anadarko (APC.N: ),
Transocean (RIG.N: ), Cameron (CAM.N: ) and Halliburton (HAL.N: ).

U.S.-listed shares of BP (BP.N: ) tumbled 15 percent and Mitsui
ADRs (MITSY.O: ) fell 5 percent on Tuesday.

Mitsui said it has not yet been able to calculate the impact
of the spill on its earnings.
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TAKE A LOOK on the spill [nSPILL]
BREAKINGVIEWS: [ID:nLDE6500HY]
INSIDER TV: http://link.reuters.com/wuw64k
Graphic: http://link.reuters.com/wyf57k
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Bowers said while initial damage awards may provide headline
grabbing sums, the U.S. court system would likely reduce damages
as it did with the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. He estimated the
potential costs Mitsui may face based on the Exxon case.

He added that he was keen to see if the Gulf accident would
affect Mitsui’s recent investment in shale gas in the United
States, also a partnership with Anadarko.

The Gulf blowout now ranks as the worst oil spill in U.S.
history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska’s
Prince William Sound.

Mitsui shares slid 8.3 percent to 1,167 yen, while the
benchmark Nikkei average (.N225: ) fell 1.1 percent.

Offshore drilling contractor Japan Drilling (1606.T: ) also
dropped 7.1 percent, even though it has no relationships with the
Gulf accident. Another trading house, Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T: ),
lost 3.8 percent.

Stock Market Research Tools

($1=90.99 Yen)
(Editing by Michael Watson)

UPDATE 2-Japan’s Mitsui & Co shares slide on Gulf oil spill