Japan Post 'set to announce trillion-yen share sale by govt'

TOKYO • Japan Post Holdings will announce plans for a share sale by the government as early as next Monday, almost two years after the postal and financial services giant was listed, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Ministry of Finance plans to offer about 1 trillion yen (S$12.4 billion) to 1.4 trillion yen of Japan Post Holdings shares to local and overseas investors by the end of this month, the people said, asking not to be identified before the announcement. The process could be delayed if the situation in North Korea deteriorates further, they said.

The ministry unveiled plans for the additional offering in January, before selecting underwriters including global coordinators Goldman Sachs Group, Nomura Holdings and Daiwa Securities Group.

Efforts to carry out the sale have been complicated by the company's April disclosure of a 400.3 billion yen writedown on its investment in an Australian logistics firm, plus its decision to scrap plans to acquire Nomura's stake in a real estate company.

Finance Minister Taro Aso said the ministry will monitor developments in the stand-off with North Korea over its nuclear programme.

Japanese stocks extended declines and the yen gained further yesterday after the Asia Business Daily reported that Mr Kim Jong Un's regime is preparing to fire another intercontinental ballistic missile, days after it conducted a nuclear test.

"If something happens in North Korea or on the peninsula, we will have to take various things into the consideration, including any impact on share prices," Mr Aso said at a regular news briefing. "We need to keep watching the situation."

KOREA WATCH

If something happens in North Korea or on the peninsula, we will have to take various things into the consideration, including any impact on share prices. We need to keep watching the situation.

FINANCE MINISTER TARO ASO

Mr Junichi Shirato, a spokesman for Japan Post, declined to comment.

Shares of Japan Post fell 3.3 per cent, the most since January, to close at a 10-month low of 1,282 yen. The holding company has slid 8.4 per cent since it began trading in November 2015, as demand for postal services slumps and its banking and insurance units struggle to cope with rock-bottom interest rates.

  • 3.3%

    Percentage fall in Japan Post share price yesterday, the most since January. The stock closed at a 10-month low of 1,282 yen.

In a potential boost for the share sale, Japan Post will be added to the Nikkei 225 Stock Average on Oct 2, Nikkei said after the close of trading. The change may prompt passive funds to add the postal company to their portfolios.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2017, with the headline 'Japan Post 'set to announce trillion-yen share sale by govt''. Print Edition | Subscribe