• Kyodo


Japan Post Holdings Co. and its banking and insurance units will begin trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Nov. 4, the bourse said Thursday, in what will be the largest initial public offering in the country in nearly 30 years.

Japan Post Holdings, Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co. jointly are expected to be valued at ¥12.61 trillion, second only to the ¥24.96 trillion value of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. at its debut in 1987.

The government hopes the IPO, which will represent the partial privatization of the postal and financial giant, will help encourage individuals to shift more of their savings to stocks, to boost the market amid a downturn related to concerns over the global economic slowdown.

Eleven percent of shares in each unit will be sold, with indicative prices of ¥1,350 for Japan Post Holdings, ¥1,400 for Japan Post Bank and ¥2,150 for Japan Post Insurance. Pricing will be finalized on Oct. 19 for the bank and insurance units and Oct. 26 for the holding company, the holding firm said.

The triple listing will raise about ¥1.4 trillion for the government in the first of three tranches aimed at generating a total of roughly ¥4 trillion for reconstruction in areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

According to plans for the Nov. 4 public offering, 80 percent of the shares on offer in each unit will be allocated to domestic investors and the remaining 20 percent to foreign investors.

Of the domestically offered shares, 95 percent will be sold to individuals.

The government will sell 495 million of the shares it currently holds in Japan Post Holdings. And the holding company will sell around 412 million shares of Japan Post Bank and 66 million shares of Japan Post Insurance.

The three units applied for the simultaneous listings in June.

The focus will now be on the group’s growth strategy to lure investors, as rival banks and insurers have asked regulators to ensure conditions for fair completion with the state-backed entities.

On Thursday, Japan Post Holdings said its group net profit is expected to fall 23.3 percent to ¥370 billion for the year through March.

Earnings from the acquisition of Australian freight company Toll Holdings Ltd. failed to boost overall profits, with Japan Post Bank seeing profit margins shrink amid low interest rates.

Operating revenue for fiscal 2015 was estimated at ¥14.21 trillion, down 0.3 percent.

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