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Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) made a firm debut Oct. 8 on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, drawing an opening price of 383,000 yen per share.The initial price at the TSE was 24,000 yen higher than the 359,000 yen public offering price set for 800,000 shares. The stock closed the day at 385,000 yen.JR Tokai became the third of the group’s company to go public, following Japan Railway East in 1993 and Japan Railway West in 1996. JR Tokai’s debut on bourses in Nagoya and Kyoto drew the same prices as in Tokyo. On the Osaka Securities Exchange, the Nagoya-based railway drew 384,000 yen.Prior to the public listing, JNR Settlement Corp., which had owned all of JR Tokai’s 2.24 million shares, publicly offered 1.5 million shares. Out of this, 700,000 shares were sold to large-lot institutional investors through bidding, while 800,000 shares were put on sale to smaller-scale investors. About 146,000 shares were left unsold as some individual investors dropped bids after winning buying rights through a lottery.JNR Settlement, which still owns the remaining JR Tokai shares, inherited debts left by the now-defunct Japanese National Railways when the public company was privatized and separated into six passenger carriers and one cargo railway firm in 1987. The firm is burdened with debts amounting to 28.1 trillion yen as of April 1997, and is tasked with selling JNR assets, land and stocks of the JR group companies to repay part of the debt.

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