Shares of Japan Post Holdings Co yesterday surged nearly 26 percent in their trading debut, after the company and its banking and insurance units raised a combined ￥1.44 trillion (US$11.9 billion) in the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year.
The long-awaited sale of shares in the state-owned company was the biggest since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (阿里巴巴) raised US$25 billion in its IPO in September last year.
The Japan Post sale is meant to tease out some of the more than US$14 trillion that Japanese have squirreled away in savings accounts.
Some of the IPO funds will help pay for rebuilding from the 2011 tsunami disaster.
The massive offering helped push the benchmark Nikkei 225 to its highest level in more than two months by midday, though it later gave up some of those gains, rising 1.3 percent to 18,926.91.
Japan Post Bank shares surged 15.2 percent and Japan Post Insurance shares rocketed 55.9 percent.
“Through privatization, we can play a role in revitalizing the Japanese economy,” Japan Post president Taizo Nishimuro told reporters after ringing a bell at the Tokyo Stock Exchange to start trading.
The IPO comes more than a decade after Japan began privatizing its postal system and the postal banks that are the backbone of the country’s massive household savings pool.
Japanese have strong trust in their more than 140-year-old postal system, which has 24,000 outlets across the country. Shares in all three companies were in high demand and sold at the top end of the indicative price range.
Japan Post remains profitable, but only thanks to fees paid by its banking and insurance units for operating inside post offices. All three businesses face a shrinking market as Japan’s population ages and declines.
Only 11 percent of the government’s equity in the three companies was sold. Of the shares on sale, 80 percent was reserved for domestic investors and 20 percent for foreign buyers.
The government plans to sell more shares in additional steps, but is expected to keep majority ownership of Japan Post.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and