April 15, 2019 / 8:23 AM / 7 days ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Japan Post sells $2.9 bln shares in insurance unit at bottom of range -filing

(Refiles to say bottom, not bottle, in headline)

TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Japan Post Holdings Co on Monday priced a share sale of its insurance business at the bottom of an expected range, a filing showed, raising $2.9 billion in the sale.

Japan Post sold 136.7 million share at 2,375 apiece, the insurance company said in a filing, representing a 4 percent discount from Monday’s closing price of 2,474 yen.

DealWatch had previously reported that the discount was likely to range between 2 percent and 4 percent. That meant a total sale size of 325 billion yen ($2.9 billion), according to Reuters calculations.

Japan Post said earlier this month it would reduce its stake in Japan Post Insurance - part of its effort to advance the privatisation of its group companies - by selling 168 million shares.

The size of the sale was then reduced to 137 million shares last week as Japan Post Insurance bought back 37 million shares, mainly from the holding company.

Japan Post may sell as many as 13.7 million shares in an additional offering depending on the demand of the shares on the market, it has previously said.

Japan Post Holdings, Japan Post Insurance and Japan Post Bank listed simultaneously in 2015 with the government raising some $12 billion, marking the country’s biggest privatisation in almost 30 years. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by David Dolan)

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