November 13, 2017 6:00 pm JST

Over 1tn yen Japan Post share release planned for next year

Proceeds from final release to be spent on disaster reconstruction

Japan's government is preparing to sell off a third batch of Japan Post Holdings' shares during fiscal 2018.

TOKYO -- Japan's finance ministry is planning to raise over one trillion yen by releasing shares of Japan Post Holdings in the next fiscal year, which starts in April, it emerged on Monday.

The sale could total between 1.2 trillion yen and 1.4 trillion yen, involving approximately 20% of the outstanding shares. This will be the final release and presents a rare opportunity to buy into one of Japan's formerly public institutions.

The exact amount will be decided when the ministry draws up its budget plan for the next fiscal year in December.

The sale, if it goes ahead, will be the third release of Japan Post shares, following the company's initial public offering in 2015 and a further sale in September 2017. The two previous offerings raked in a total of 2.8 trillion yen in revenue for the government, while reducing its stake in the company to less than 60%.

The government is mandated by law to bring down its holdings in the company to a little more than 30%.

The proceeds will be used to repay debt the government incurred to pay for the reconstruction of regions hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan Post Holdings operates companies engaged in postal services, savings and life insurance.

The company's shares have stagnated recently, falling below the IPO offering price of 1,400 yen as low interest rates in Japan have depressed profitability at its banking and insurance subsidiaries.

(Nikkei)

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