Published: Nov 4, 2015 1:14 a.m. ET
Japan shares led Asian markets higher Wednesday, as shares of state-owned Japan Post Holdings Co. and its financial units jumped more than 15% in their trading debut.
The initial public offering of the listings together mark the world’s biggest since the debut of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in September 2014.
The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +1.30% gained 1.7%, catching up with gains in most of the region on Tuesday, when Japan markets were closed for a holiday.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.06% was up 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +2.20% rose 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +4.31% was up 0.7%.
Japan Post, the government agency that has been delivering mail in Japan since the 19th century, is tapping the value of its portfolio by selling 11% of its shares in an IPO. The holding company in turn is selling 11% of the shares of its banking and insurance units.
Shares of Japan Post Holdings last traded at ¥1,642 ($13.55), 16% above the premarket IPO price of ¥1,400. Shares of Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance were up 14% and 43%, respectively, above their IPO prices.
Interest from retail investors, lured by the high dividend yield and familiar name, underpinned the strong stock-market reception. Last month, the offerings were priced at the top of their proposed range.
The news bodes well for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is counting on a successful listing to persuade Japanese investors to rotate more of their bank savings into stocks.
“[The trading of Japan Post] will be a bellwether for the corporate environment in Japan, which is a reflection of the policy measures,” said Atul Lele, chief investment officer at Deltec International Group.
The region extended a rebound from Tuesday, when the Australian market had snapped six-straight days of losses and analysts pointed to some stability in the Chinese economy.
A signal that the European Central Bank stands ready to take more accommodative action also lifted sentiment. Overnight, ECB President Mario Draghi said its asset-purchase program was proceeding smoothly, but underscored the central bank’s willingness to do more. In October, Draghi had said the central bank might announce further measures as soon as December.
Investors also assessed a private gauge of China’s services activity, released earlier Wednesday, which rose to 52.0 in October from 50.5 the previous month. The 50-level distinguishes expansion from contraction in activity.
On Tuesday, President Xi Jinping suggested Beijing could tolerate growth as low as 6.5%, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It was the strongest signal yet that the government expects the world’s second-largest economy to shift to a slower pace.
Overnight, U.S. stocks extended their gains, boosted by energy-company shares................................
see more at : http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tokyo-stocks-soar-after-japan-post-ipo-biggest-since-alibaba-2015-11-04