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The president of medium-size general contractor Aoki Corp. denied market rumors Sept. 22 that his firm was in a financial crisis, stressing that the company has been steadily reducing its debts.

The company’s stock nosedived below its 50 yen face value on the rumors Sept. 22, ending up at 35 yen, a 22 yen drop from last week’s finish. It is the first time that a stock listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange has dropped below face value since September 1995, when shares of Nippon Housing Loan Co., one of the failed “jusen” mortgage lenders, dropped below 50 yen.

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