UPDATE 1-Kobe Steel to raise up to $993 mln in global share offer

Tue Feb 4, 2014 5:54am EST

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TOKYO Feb 4 (Reuters) - Kobe Steel Ltd, Japan's third-biggest steel maker, aims to raise up to 100.57 billion yen ($993 million) in a global share offer to invest in its main plant to become more competitive, it said on Tuesday.

In its first equity sale since November 1989 when it raised 140 billion yen, Kobe Steel plans to issue up to 528.58 million new shares including an over-allotment option and sell up to 103.92 million existing shares which the company owns as treasury stock.

The total number of new shares, about 70 percent to be offered in Japan and the rest overseas, increases the number of shares in issue by 17 percent.

On the back of strong steel demand in Japan, helped by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to end two decades of economic stagnation with a mix of fiscal expansion and monetary easing, Kobe Steel is forecasting it will make 70 billion yen in recurring profit before tax and exceptional items in the current year ending in March. It made a loss of 18.1 billion yen last year. ($1=101.2550 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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