TOKYO (AP) _ Toyota Motor Corp. will raise its equity stake in Hino Motors Ltd. from 20.1 percent to 33.4 percent, gaining management control of Japan's largest truck maker, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Friday.

The Nikkei report said the decision came after Thursday's meeting of top executives at the companies, and an official announcement was to be made Friday.

A Toyota official could not immediately comment.

The higher equity stake would grant Toyota veto power over important issues at Hino's general shareholders' meetings, thus giving Toyota virtual control over Hino's management.

If Toyota determines that Hino is making progress in its efforts to return to profitability, it will raise its stake in Hino to more than 50 percent, the Nikkei report said, quoting unnamed sources.

Suffering from weak truck sales and faced with price competition, Hino's 54 sales companies are estimated to have a combined accumulated loss of about $187 million.

Hino is expected to sell new shares to Toyota for about 20 billion yen this month, the report said. Hino plans to use the proceeds to shore up ailing financial conditions at its sales firms.