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SoftBank Corp shares top 1,500 yen IPO price for first time

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Shares of SoftBank Corp, which listed in December in Japan's largest IPO, traded above their 1,500 yen IPO price on Friday for the first time, as investor sentiment warmed to the high-dividend stock.

[TOKYO] Shares of SoftBank Corp, which listed in December in Japan's largest IPO, traded above their 1,500 yen IPO price on Friday for the first time, as investor sentiment warmed to the high-dividend stock.

The shares closed 15 per cent below the IPO price on their market debut, their lacklustre performance contrasting with parent SoftBank Group Corp, up 40 per cent this year.

However in recent weeks a share buyback, the consolidation of internet company Yahoo Japan on its books, and quarterly results showing SoftBank Corp was the only of the three big telcos to grow operating profit, have helped drive the stock upwards.

SoftBank Corp's ample cashflow helps support the investing activities of group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, who is raising money for a second giant technology fund.

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With the telecoms industry waiting to see if Rakuten Inc's October market entry will herald a round of downwards pressure on carrier fees, SoftBank Corp is emphasising its expansion outside its core wireless business into areas like payments and office space sharing.

SoftBank Corp shares were trading up 0.2 per cent at 1,495 yen at 12.54am GMT (8.54am SGT). The benchmark index was up 0.5 per cent.

REUTERS