Tue, Sep 12, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Japan aims to raise US$12 billion by selling off more of its postal company


A man drops a letter in a post box at the Shinjuku Post Office, operated by Japan Post Holdings Co, in Tokyo yesterday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Japan yesterday said it would sell off another chunk of its massive postal service in a share sale that could raise up to US$12 billion.

Tokyo said it would sell up to 990 million shares in Japan Post Holdings Co, or about 22 percent of its outstanding shares, the Japanese Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

The sale could raise ¥1.3 trillion (US$11.98 billion) based on yesterday ‘s closing price of ¥1,321.

The sale price will be decided sometime between Sept. 25 and Sept. 27, it added.

After years of delays, ¥1.43 trillion was raised in an initial public offering (IPO) in late 2015 that included shares in Japan Post’s banking and insurance units.

The bulk of proceeds from selling shares in the government-owned behemoth were earmarked for reconstruction efforts after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The earlier sale came amid hopes starting to privatize what is effectively the world’s biggest bank by deposits could boost investor sentiment and spur efforts to cut red tape in Japan’s highly regulated economy.

The sprawling postal group has a network of about 24,000 bureaux across the nation and sits on assets worth more than ¥290 trillion.

The branches also offer services for cash deposits and insurance, and a local branch where many of Japanese retirees withdraw their pension payments.

That system has long drawn criticism both inside and outside Japan, with financial institutions, carrier services and foreign governments arguing that the public body was operating in sectors where it competed directly with private businesses.

Japan Post shares have not performed particularly well, closing yesterday below their ¥1,400 IPO price.

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