TOKYO Feb 25 Japan's Ministry of Finance plans to sell 333 million shares in Japan Tobacco Inc, the world's third-largest tobacco company, raising about $10.4 billion.
Japan Tobacco would buy back as much as 250 billion yen worth of its own shares, the regulatory filing showed on Monday.
Japan's Ministry of Finance, which owns just over 50 percent of the tobacco company, has been planning to sell up to one-third of its holdings to raise money to help fund reconstruction of areas devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Japan's parliament in 2011 passed a set of bills including tax hikes and government share sales in state-owned companies to help finance the roughly $270 billion it expects to spend to rebuild the northeast coast.
Shares in Japan Tobacco closed on Monday at 2,901 yen, up 1.4 percent on the day. At that price, the share sale would be valued at about 967 billion yen. ($1 = 93.2200 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Writing by Junko Fujita; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)