Toshiba regains Tokyo exchange's top category amid calls for better governance

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba is seen as a shareholder arrives at Toshiba's extraordinary shareholders meeting in Chiba, Japan March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved on Friday Toshiba Corp’s return to the bourse’s first section amid calls from some shareholders for better governance at the Japanese industrial conglomerate.

Toshiba, which filed an application for the return in April last year, will move back to the first section on Jan. 29. The company has said the return could help lure buying from investors in stock indexes.

The Japanese company was relegated to the second section in 2017 after massive writedowns at its U.S. nuclear power business caused liabilities to exceed assets - a condition for automatic demotion.

The TSE’s decision comes as two large shareholders - Singapore-based Effissimo Capital Management and U.S. hedge fund Farallon Capital Management - demand an extraordinary shareholders meeting for governance-related issues.

Effissimo Capital has called for an investigation in Toshiba’s annual general meeting held last July, at which the company said the voting rights of several shareholders were compromised.

Farallon Capital is asking the firm to seek shareholder approval over what the fund said is a change in investment strategy.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Sherry Jacob-Phillips