[Tokyo] Japanese temporary staffing giant Recruit Holdings soared 6.6 percent on its trading debut Thursday after a nearly US$2.0 billion initial public offering, one of the biggest in Tokyo this year.
The firm jumped to 3,305 yen (US$31) by the break, from its IPO price of 3,100 yen. That came even as the broad-based Topix index, on which it is listed, tumbled more than two percent following heavy losses in New York and Europe Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, told AFP it was "unfortunate" that Recruit's listing came on a day the Topix and the closely watched Nikkei suffered heavy selling pressure. But he added that "given the market climate today, it is doing relatively well".
The company, whose share sale earlier this month raked in 197 billion yen (US$1.85 billion), has human resources offices across the globe and posted sales of 1.19 trillion yen in past the fiscal year to March.
It is also involved in other sectors including publishing and advertising.
"Recruit is a good company and obviously a large IPO, but the uncertainty in the underlying market makes investors uneasy about buying any stock," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.
"Some blue-chip funds would undoubtedly like to own Recruit shares, but with markets falling so sharply, it might be prudent to wait until the current risk-off sentiment eases. Fund managers typically are averse to buying IPO stocks on the first day of listing," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Japan Display, the world's biggest maker of screens for smartphones and tablets, held an IPO worth about US$3.2 billion in March, but its shares have struggled since and remain way below their opening price.
Recruit has long been tied to a major political donation scandal in the 1980s when Japan's economy was booming on the back of a surge in stock and real estate prices.
A string of politicians were accused of taking shares in Recruit Cosmos, a real estate affiliate, and making handsome profits after the shares were publicly listed.
Noboru Takeshita quit just 19 months into his premiership in June 1989 after being implicated in the scandal. AFP