Japan’s government is aiming to raise as much as 392 billion yen ($3.8 billion) selling shares of Kyushu Railway Co. in an initial public offering poised to be the world’s second-biggest this year.
The Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, which fully owns the company, also known as JR Kyushu, is offering 160 million shares at an indicative price of 2,450 yen apiece, according to a statement in Tokyo Thursday. The agency is selling all of its shares and plans to list them on Oct. 25 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the following day on the Fukuoka Stock Exchange, according to the statement.
The state asset offering is part of a plan started in the 1990s to privatize the nation’s train operators created from the breakup of Japan Railways in 1987. JR Kyushu is the fourth of those firms selling shares to the public.
A record number of visitors to Japan is benefiting companies such as JR Kyushu, which operates bullet trains along with the regular ones, and runs hotels and restaurants on the nation’s third-largest island. JR Kyushu is based in Fukuoka City, about 890 kilometers (550 miles) west of Tokyo.
The government’s asset sales are aimed at encouraging citizens to invest more of their household savings in the stock market. It sold shares in Japan Post Holdings Co., Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co. last year in the biggest program since 1987.