SoftBank aims for Japan's largest-ever IPO, worth $23bn
Nikkei -- Dec 01
SoftBank Group's mobile unit on Friday set an indicative price of 1,500 yen per share ahead of what would be Japan largest-ever initial public offering in December.

At that price, SoftBank Group, led by Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, would reap 2.64 trillion yen ($23 billion) from the sale of slightly more than a third of its stake in SoftBank Corp.

The unusual announcement of a fixed price, rather than a range, suggests Japan's third-largest mobile carrier is confident it can obtain its desired IPO price, which it first announced on Nov. 12.

That would value SoftBank at 7.18 trillion yen ($62 billion) when it lists its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Dec. 19, compared with larger rival KDDI's 6.75 trillion yen market capitalization as of Friday. Despite lackluster earnings growth and a maturing telecommunications market, SoftBank has managed to attract individual investors in Japan through its high dividend yield and strong brand, analysts say.

The company's "cash-flow creation will enable both shareholder returns and investment in growth," SoftBank said in a news release explaining its aggressive price target, adding that it took into account demand from domestic retail investors, who are expected to buy most of the shares floated.

Some analysts warn, however, that an overly optimistic valuation could see the stock fall after the IPO, given cooling market sentiment. In a sign of weak overseas demand, about nine in 10 shares are being offered to domestic investors.

While official book-building has yet to begin, underwriters Nomura Securities, Daiwa Securities and SMBC Nikko Securities and others have been touting the SoftBank IPO to retail investors through TV commercials and sales calls. They hope to persuade Japanese households to put some of their wealth -- estimated at more than 1,800 trillion yen in cash, stocks and other financial assets -- into SoftBank shares.

News source: Nikkei
Aug 24
Japan's government has announced that ballistic missiles are believed to have been launched from North Korea on Saturday morning. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has summoned South Korea's ambassador and lodged a protest at Seoul's decision to end an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. (NHK)
Aug 23
The US Department of Defense has expressed its "strong concern" and "disappointment" at South Korea's decision to terminate its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's capital is set to lay claim to the country's tallest building in 2023, when developer Mori Building aims to complete a 330-meter tower as part of a major redevelopment. (Nikkei)
Aug 23
Japan's space agency said Thursday its Hayabusa2 space probe returning to Earth late next year will drop its capsule containing asteroid samples in Australia's southern desert. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
To boost the number of male employees taking paternity leave and promote female participation in the workforce, Japan's labor ministry decided to increase government subsidies for companies whose employees do so, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a woman and a man for allegedly introducing a teenage girl to men for prostitution last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
Aug 23
A man affiliated with Japan's largest crime syndicate was shot Wednesday in Kobe apparently in connection with a feud among factions of the Yamaguchi-gumi organization in the western Japan city and surrounding areas, police said. (Japan Today)
Aug 23
Defending champions Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are the No. 1 seeds for singles play in the U.S. Open, it was announced on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 23
Japan will include sharing activities like Airbnb-style vacation rentals in gross domestic product calculations as early as fiscal 2020, Nikkei has learned, as the government seeks a better picture of the growing sector. (Nikkei)