Ashikaga Holdings returns to TSE

Kyodo

The holding company of Ashikaga Bank, a regional bank once nationalized after falling into negative net worth, began trading Thursday on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the year’s third-largest initial public offering.

Ashikaga Holdings Co. began trading at ¥451, up 7.4 percent from its IPO price of ¥420 and valuing the company at ¥146.5 billion, making the IPO the third-largest of the year in Japan, according to Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

The stock traded as high as ¥476 before closing at ¥432.

Its predecessor was delisted from the TSE in January 2004 after the regional bank, based in Tochigi Prefecture, was put under state control in 2003 with a negative net worth topping ¥100 billion.

Ashikaga Holdings has been reconstructing itself with the help of an investment group led by Nomura Holdings Inc., which bought Ashikaga in 2008.