TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Shares in mid-sized Japanese lender Shinsei Bank Ltd (8303.T) soared as much as 16% early on Thursday after a report that financial group SBI Holdings (8473.T) may withdraw the rated lender after increasing its current 48% stake to majority control.

Following Kyodo News’ report, SBI said in a statement that it is not true that the company is specifically considering removing Shinsei from the list. As of 0150 GMT, shares of Shinsei were up 8.9% at 2,336 yen, putting it on course for its biggest one-day gain in just over a year.

In a separate statement, Shinsei said that while it is true that the bank is exploring various initiatives with SBI to increase its profits, it is “not a fact” that it is working on the concrete step of delisting.

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The statements came after the Tokyo Stock Exchange issued a warning about Shinsei, reporting “unclear information” about its privatization.

SBI’s chief executive has said in the past that delisting was an option for Shinsei, worth about 440 billion yen ($2.93 billion) by market capitalization as of Wednesday’s close, to help him return $3 billion in public funds still owed to the government.

($1 = 149.9200 yen)

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Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by David Dolan and Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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