Japan Post shares go bezerk in the world's largest IPO this year

A man pushes his crate of tools past a Japan Post mailbox in Tokyo. Christopher Jue/Getty Images

Japan Post, the world’s largest IPO this year, surged on its debut today.

The shares hit ¥1631 each, about 16.5% higher than the IPO price of ¥1400. The float raised raised ¥1.4 trillion ($16 billion) in Japan’s biggest privatisation since the 1980s.

Japan Post has been remaking itself as an international company, seeking growth outside Japan. In Australia, Japan Post has bought transport group Toll Holdings in a $6.5 billion takeover.

The Japanese group, of which only 11% has been floated, includes a postal arm, a banking division and an insurance business, all of which are being listed as separate entities.

Japan Post, with 400,000 employees and 24,700 post offices, has the country’s biggest mass of savings deposits and is the largest insurer.

The government plans to sell off all the bank and insurance company but will keep a third of the main Japan Post business.

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