Tepco Shares Surge on Speculation LDP to Allow Nuclear Restarts

Tepco Shares Surge on Speculation LDP to Allow Nuclear Restarts
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) logo is displayed on an employee's safety helmet. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s shares surged on speculation the Liberal Democratic Party’s election victory will pave the way for the utility to restart reactors at its Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s biggest.

The stock, which lost more than 90 percent of its value after the meltdown of three reactors at its Fukushima plant in March last year, jumped 33 percent at the morning close in Tokyo, or by its daily limit, trading at 202 yen, the biggest gain since Oct. 11, 2011.

“For Tepco to make a reasonable profit, the restart of reactors at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant is essential,” said Hirofumi Kawachi, an energy analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. “Investors judge the result of yesterday’s election as a big step forward for the restart.”

All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors are offline for safety checks after the Fukushima disaster. Both are in Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi plant north of Osaka. The Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant is in Niigata prefecture in northern Japan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuji Okada in Tokyo at yokada6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Langan at plangan@bloomberg.net