SoftBank Corp begins trading after Japan’s largest-ever IPO, but share price slumps 15%

19 Dec 2018

Japan’s SoftBank Corp, the telecoms unit of billionaire CEO Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp, began trading today (19 December) in Tokyo following Japan’s biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO), but having opened 6.4% lower than their offer price, shares closed at JPY1,282 (USD11.39), down 14.5% on the day, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. In a disappointing debut for Japan’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers – whose IPO represents around 37% of its stock – initial market sentiment seemingly confirmed a weakening appetite among Japan’s retail investors, who snapped up the majority of shares. Although SoftBank Corp has approximately 40 million subscribers and reported net profit of JPY412 billion on revenues of JPY3.54 trillion for the year ended 31 March 2018, the outlook for Japan’s telecommunications market is uncertain, given the imminent entry of a new fourth player in Rakuten Mobile Network and mounting pressure from the government to lower prices ahead of a consumption tax hike in 2019.

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