TOKYO – Japan’s Rakuten Group plans an initial public offering (IPO) of its banking arm as early as April, according to two people, as the e-commerce giant sees sufficient market demand even amid global financial turmoil.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is likely to approve the listing of Rakuten Bank as early as Wednesday, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is private.
Rakuten will sell some of its stake in the offering and Rakuten Bank will issue new shares for a total of around 100 billion yen (about S$1 billion), the people said.
The deal is expected to value the bank, Japan’s largest online lender by number of accounts, at around 300 billion yen, one of the people said.
The listing would help Rakuten secure funds following years of net losses from spending big on building its new mobile phone unit.
Rakuten and Rakuten Bank did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the Tokyo exchange declined to comment. At market close on Wednesday, Rakuten Group shares were up 5.83 per cent. REUTERS