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Japan Post to list shares next year

Staff writer |
Nearly 10 years after the launch of its privatization scheme, the Japanese government decided to unload its share holdings in Japan Post Holdings Co. next year, the state-owned company said.

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The chief executive of Japan Post said the company will go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as August together with its banking and insurance arms in one of the biggest stock listings in the country.

The initial public offerings involving Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance Co. could possibly be as large as the one by NTT Docomo Inc. in 1998, when the mobile carrier was valued at about 8.8 trillion yen (about $73 billion).

The plan will mark the final phase of the privatization of the nation's gigantic postal services, a long-standing reform initiative launched in 2005 by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

"We will take the first step, a big first step toward our privatization," Taizo Nishimuro, the CEO of Japan Post, said at a press conference.

Japan Post plans to sell about half its shareholdings in the two fully-owned units before eventually selling off the entire holdings, Nishimuro said.

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