A record 208 companies are planning to go public in Japan in calendar 2001, Teikoku Databank Ltd. revealed Wednesday.

The private research firm surveyed around 4,200 companies throughout Japan and found that 1,224 are planning to go public sometime after May this year. Of those, 208 are planning to list in 2001.

The findings come amid rising hopes of an economic recovery in Japan and expanding access to the capital market provided by new markets such as Mothers, which opened on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December last year, and the Nasdaq Japan market, which is scheduled to start in June, Teikoku Databank said.

The previous record for companies listing on the stock market was 187 firms in calendar 1995, according to Teikoku Databank.

A breakdown of the 208 firms shows the largest number, 36, are information services, followed by 21 electrical machinery and information equipment makers.

Nearly 70 percent , or 143, are considering a debut on the over-the-counter market, which poses less-stringent listing requirements than the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.

A quarter of the 208 firms are planning to debut on either the Mothers or Nasdaq Japan markets.