Aozora: to seek OK to partially repay public funds

TOKYO Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:21am EDT

TOKYO Aug 27 (Reuters) - Mid-sized Japanese lender Aozora Bank said on Monday it will seek shareholders' approval to buy back 22.7 billion yen ($288.6 million) worth of preferred shares from a government-backed body by the end of March next year.

The bank said it will separately buy back 330 million common shares, or about 20 percent of its outstanding shares, starting in October.

Aozora, formerly called Nippon Credit Bank, was temporarily put under government control during Japan's financial crisis of the late 1990s, when banks were sinking under the weight of loans that went sour with the bursting of an asset bubble that had emerged a decade earlier.

Aozora still owes about 179 billion yen in public money, which it aims to repay over the next 10 years.

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