Olympus Climbs by Daily Limit on Report of Preferred Stock Sale

Olympus Corp. rose as much as 16 percent, the maximum daily limit, after a report that the company may raise 100 billion yen ($1.28 billion) by selling preference shares to shore up its balance sheet.

The Japanese camera maker has hired financial advisers for a plan to sell preferred stock convertible into common shares, the Nikkei newspaper reported today, without citing anyone. Investors may include Sony Corp., Fujifilm Holdings Corp., Panasonic Corp., Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Germany’s Siemens AG, the report said. Details of the sale would be set next month, Nikkei said.

The size of the fundraising would be influenced by the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s decision on whether to delist Olympus following a $1.7 billion accounting fraud, the paper said.

“A share sale would strengthen Olympus’s financials and that brings reassurance for investors,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, who helps oversee $365 million at Chiba-Gin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “It was also positive that there are companies interested in investing in Olympus.”

The stock reversed an earlier 3.8 percent decline to trade 11 percent higher at 1,020 yen as of 10:41 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Olympus, which rose by its 150 yen daily limit, was the biggest gainer on Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which rose 0.6 percent.

Olympus was not the source of Nikkei report, the company said in a statement. Spokesmen at Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic declined to comment.

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