Business / Financial Markets

Japanese government becomes top shareholder of Shinsei Bank

JIJI

The government has effectively become the top shareholder of Shinsei Bank Ltd., with a stake of about 19 percent in terms of voting rights, replacing U.S. investment fund J.C. Flowers & Co.

The fund has completed procedures to sell its stake in the major financial institution, the bank said Tuesday.

The government-affiliated Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan owns 10.97 percent of the bank. With a stake held by subsidiary Resolution and Collection Corp. included, DICJ’s voting rights in Shinsei Bank stand at 19.12 percent.

Before the share sale by J.C. Flowers, DICJ was the second-biggest shareholder.

Shinsei Bank is the successor to Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, which went bust in 1998 in the aftermath of the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy in the early 1990s, and was temporarily placed under state control.

Over 20 years have passed since the LTCB collapse, but Shinsei Bank has yet to complete repayments of public funds injected by the government to cope with the crisis. Increasing earnings is an urgent task for the bank.

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