Among Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s biggest shareholders, only one has increased its holdings since the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant: Its employees.
The Tokyo Electric Employee Shareholding Association became the fifth-biggest stakeholder in Tepco, with 30.1 million shares, up 35.6 percent, as of Sept. 30, securities reports to the Tokyo Stock Exchange show. The association was ranked eighth on Sept. 30 of last year.
Three other large shareholders cut their stakes, including Japan Trustee Services Bank Ltd., which dropped to sixth, and Master Trust Bank of Japan Ltd. to seventh. Five, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., left their stakes unchanged.
Tepco shares have slumped 86 percent since the day before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami wrecked the nuclear plant and started a series of events, including the evacuation of thousands of people, that have left the utility facing massive liabilities.
“Whether employees keep buying Tepco shares will depend on the business plan” to be drawn up next spring, said Reiji Ogino, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Employees may reduce monthly share purchases if the plan calls for further cuts in salaries and worker numbers, Ogino said.
Tepco said it will slash 7,400 jobs by the end of the year ending in March 2014 and reduce salaries and bonuses in a cost-cutting plan approved by the government Nov. 4.
Tepco spokesman Naoyuki Matsumoto declined comment on the shareholdings issue.
Stakeholders will be asked to “cooperate” to secure funds for compensating the people affected by the Fukushima disaster as the company may have to pay ¥4.5 trillion by March 2013, a government panel said in a report last month.
If Tepco needs a capital injection from the Nuclear Damages Facilitation Fund set up in September, “it would be necessary for shareholders to support the proposal for capital injection and stock dilution,” said the panel headed by bankruptcy lawyer Kazuhiko Shimokobe.
Even though Tepco has received government aid to help pay compensation, it wants to remain a private entity and isn’t planning to seek capital from the government-backed Nuclear Damages fund, President Toshio Nishizawa said Nov. 4.
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