Japan Post firms make robust Tokyo debut

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Tokyo (dpa) – Japan Post was listed Wednesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, along with two financial units, in the country’s biggest privatization since the late 1980s.

Shares in Japan Post were fetching 1,631 yen (13.5 dollars) at the opening bell and ended the day at 1,760 yen, up 25.7 per cent from the offering price of 1,400 yen.

Japan Post Insurance and Japan Post Bank also went public Wednesday and shares in the insurance unit closed at 3,430 yen, 55.9 per cent above the offering price of 2,200 yen and those in the banking unit ended at 1,671 yen, up 15.2 per cent from an IPO price of 1,450 yen.

Japan was expected to raise a total of 1.4 trillion yen from the triple IPO, 11 per cent of which will be allocated to reconstruction projects for regions in north-eastern Japan, which was hit by a huge earthquake and resulting tsunami in March 2011.

Wednesday’s IPOs represented the largest privatization since Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp in 1987.

The Japan Post sell off is also likely the country’s last major privatization.

The listing of the Japan Post firms was an important step for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government as the world’s third-largest economy has been struggling to achieve any sustained growth.

The premier wants the IPO to help encourage Japanese households to shift more savings to stock investment from bank deposits.

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