Japan Post Insurance, the largest insurer in the country, has filed an application with the Tokyo Stock Exchange for a stock listing, together with its parent company, Japan Post Holdings, and a related company, Japan Post Bank.
The insurer and the bank are wholly-owned financial units of the government-owned Japan Post Holdings.
The three companies are expected to make their stock market debut as early as October, 10 years after the enactment of laws at the initiative of then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, which set the stage for the privatisation of the country’s postal services, reported Jiji Press.
Listing expected to raise US$30 bln
The government, which fully owns Japan Post Holdings at present, will maintain a stake of over one-third after its stock listing. The government will use part of the proceeds from the sale of shares in Japan Post Holdings to fund reconstruction in the wake of the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Post Holdings plans to sell its shareholdings in the two financial units in stages, with the intent to retain around 50% ownership in each.
The government aims to raise about JPY4 trillion (US$30 billion) through the several rounds of offerings, with the initial round expected to raise about JPY1 trillion, reported Reuters citing government officials.
The stock listings will make it easier for the banking and insurance units to carry out business. At present, the two units need to obtain government permission to start new operations, such as housing loan services, because their parent is wholly owned by the government. The banking and insurance arms provide services through the nationwide postal network.
Japan Post Insurance began operations in October 2007 as the life insurance company within the Japan Post Group. This change followed the privatisation of Japan Post and the creation of separate companies for its various businesses.