Japan Post units plan simultaneous IPOs

Kyodo

Japan Post Holdings Co. and its banking and insurance arms on Tuesday are set to file for simultaneous listings on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan Post President Taizo Nishimuro said Friday.

Nishimuro said at a news conference that the state-owned behemoth decided on the filings at a shareholders meeting and subsequent board meeting earlier in the day.

If screenings go smoothly, Japan Post, Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance Co. are expected to go public in October. The banking and insurance arms provide services through the nationwide postal network.

The listings will launch the final stage of privatization for the nation’s postal system, which started under a reform law enacted in 2005 under the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Once approval is received, the government will announce the date of the initial public offering, the expected prices and number of shares to be offered for sale in each of the three entities.

The Japan Post group filed preliminary IPO applications with the TSE in late March.

The government plans to gradually sell Japan Post Holdings shares until its stake in that company falls to a little more than a third, and to use the proceeds from the sales to finance reconstruction in the Tohoku region, parts of which were devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Earlier Friday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party endorsed a proposal by a party panel to raise the limit on deposits at Japan Post Bank to ¥30 million ($243,000) per person from the ¥10 million at present, party officials said.

The party’s decision-making General Council approved the proposal aimed at improving convenience for residents in less populated areas where other banking options are scarce.

The proposal calls for raising the upper limit on deposits at Japan Post Bank to ¥20 million by the end of September and to ¥30 million in two years, and eventually abolishing the limit altogether.

The recommendation also says that a limit on insurance at Japan Post Insurance Co. should be raised from ¥13 million at present to ¥20 million by the end of September.

The LDP plans to convey the proposals to ministries and agencies to seek a revision of ordinances to achieve the recommendations, the officials said.

The government will look into the Japan Bank proposal’s impact on local banks, the officials said.

The proposal was worked out by a party panel led by LDP acting secretary-general and House of Representatives member Hiroyuki Hosoda last week.