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Tokyo — Japan Tobacco, which is on the hunt for overseas acquisitions to offset a shrinking home market, is working on several possible deals as it targets growth in Asian and other emerging markets, according to its new CEO on Wednesday. Masamichi Terabatake said he saw the potential for deals in South America, Africa and the Middle East, in addition to Asia, where his company is already active, having spent about $2bn in 2017 on tobacco businesses in the Philippines and Indonesia. "We have a long list and a short list [of potential targets]. There are various deals in the works," said Terabatake, who became CEO of the world’s fourth-largest tobacco company on January 1. Japan Tobacco had an 8.4% share of the global cigarette market in 2016, Euromonitor International data show. The former state monopoly is still one-third owned by the Japanese government. It is accelerating its overseas mergers and acquisitions drive as it grapples with falling cigarette sales in Japan, where it co...

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