IPOs in Japan seen hitting eight-year high in 2015


The number of companies making initial public offerings on Japanese stock exchanges this year is seen totaling 99, up from 80 in 2014 and hitting the highest level since 2007, when 121 firms went public.

This is because the Japanese stock market generally performed well in 2015, making it easier for companies to procure funds through the market.

On Nov. 4, Japan Post Holdings Co. and its two financial subsidiaries—Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance Co.—listed their stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section.

Their stock market listings were the biggest since the 1987 debut of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. in terms of market capitalization calculated based on the first quotations.

Investors believe that many more companies are willing to achieve stock listings.

The number of IPOs in Japan slumped to only 19 in 2009, following the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008. But the annual number rose back in 2010 and has continued increasing for five years running until 2014.

This year, 80 companies have so far listed their stocks, and 19 others are scheduled to go public in December.

Of the total, 96 firms were or will be listed on the TSE, and one each on the Sapporo Securities Exchange, the Nagoya Stock Exchange and the Fukuoka Stock Exchange.

The 99 companies include many Internet-related companies, while about 30 percent of the total have their head offices in areas other than Tokyo.

Based on IPO prices, the combined value of shares of the 99 firms released or to be released to the market for their debuts will likely come to some ¥1.7 trillion, up about 60 percent from the previous year, on the back of some ¥1.4 trillion for the three Japan Post group companies.

An official of Nomura Securities Co. noted that firms from an increasing range of sectors are going public, adding, “Next year, 100 to 110 companies could make stock market debuts.”

Companies that are expected to go public in 2016 include Kyushu Railway Co., or JR Kyushu, one of Japan Railways Group firms born out of the 1987 breakup and privatization of the Japanese National Railways

JR Kyushu would be the fourth JR company to attain an IPO, after East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, and Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai.