TOKYO, Sept 5 The number of candidates looking
to underwrite Japan Post's initial public offering
has been whittled down to 15 firms from an initial 21 that
applied last week, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
The ministry will choose six domestic and four foreign
brokerages as early as the month's end after taking into account
their sales strategies and handling fees.
The brokerages are vying to underwrite the IPO scheduled for
2015, which market participants expect to raise almost $10
billion for the government.
The remaining domestic brokerages are Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
Stanley, Daiwa, Nomura, SMBC Nikko, Mizuho, Tokai Tokyo, Okasan,
SBI and Ichiyoshi, the ministry announced on its homepage.
The remaining foreign brokerages are Barclays, JP Morgan,
Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Global Markets Japan, UBS and Merrill
State-owned Japan Post provides post office, insurance and
banking services and is the country's largest savings
institution with around 176 trillion yen ($1.7 trillion) in
customer saving deposits.
The IPO will be the first leg of the government's plan to
sell up to two-thirds of Japan Post's shares. While bankers have
said the government hopes to eventually raise between 2 trillion
yen and 4 trillion yen ($19 billion to $38 billion), current
expectations are for the IPO to raise about 1 trillion yen.
Part of the proceeds will fund reconstruction of areas
devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
(1 US dollar = 105.32 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)