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Japan Post IPO set to raise up to US$12b, price range shows

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Japan Post Group is set to raise as much as 1.44 trillion yen (S$17 billion) in its initial public offering, making it the biggest debut share sale in the country since 1998.

[TOKYO] Japan Post Group is set to raise as much as 1.44 trillion yen (S$17 billion) in its initial public offering, making it the biggest debut share sale in the country since 1998.

The triple sale of the government-owned postal giant will be offered at a range of 1,100 yen to 1,400 yen a share for Japan Post Holdings, a regulatory filing showed Wednesday. Its banking unit is being priced at 1,250 yen to 1,450 yen, and the insurance arm will be offered at 1,900 yen to 2,200 yen.

Japan's government is selling the postal service, whose origins date back to 1871, mostly to citizens as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to get people to invest more of their savings. The IPO, the culmination of a privatization process driven by Abe's mentor Junichiro Koizumi a decade ago, comes at a volatile time for Japanese stocks, which have been battered by the global turmoil stemming from China.

The price ranges compare with indicative figures of 1,350 yen apiece for the holding company, 1,400 yen for Japan Post Bank Co. and 2,150 yen for Japan Post Insurance Co. Those numbers were released as a guide for investors four weeks ago when the IPO was announced.

Prices for the bank and insurer will be decided on Oct. 19 and for the parent company on Oct 26. The stocks will be listed on Nov 4. Proceeds will be used to raise funds for reconstruction efforts following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the northeast.

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