Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a plan by the Financial Services Agency to impose public tender offer rules on off-hours stock trading.
The proposed rules require a firm to publish the price and other details of a bid for a major stake in another firm in advance. The rules would be applied when an equity stake in a company for an off-hours transaction exceeds one-third.
The plan follows Internet firm Livedoor Co.’s surprise use of off-hours trading to boost its stake in Nippon Broadcasting to some 35 percent in early February.
When the FSA briefed the lawmakers on the plan, they didn’t object and criticized Livedoor, FSA officials said.
Nobuteru Ishihara, chairman of the LDP Research Commission on Finance and Banking Systems, indicated the ruling party may support the plan.
Business leaders and politicians have criticized Livedoor for taking the legal tack to acquire a more than one-third stake in Nippon Broadcasting System. A one-third stake gives firms veto power over key management decisions.
“At a time when stock prices fluctuate on Livedoor or Nippon Broadcasting System actions to affect ordinary investors, who are given little information, such a loophole should be closed,” Ishihara said.
FSA officials said the agency will give the LDP panel a Securities and Exchange Law revision bill that includes the plan next Tuesday before submitting it to the Diet.
The bill will also require an unlisted parent of a listed company to disclose business information to the public and allow foreign firms to submit financial statements in English to the government, the officials said.
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