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Employees’ Holdings in Tepco Fall for First Time Since Disaster

Employees of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, reduced their stake in the utility for the first time since the atomic disaster in March 2011.

The Employees Shareholding Association, the utility’s biggest shareholder after the government-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Fund, held 47.31 million shares, or 1.33 percent, as of Sept. 30, according to data on its website. The association owned 49.67 million shares six months earlier.

Among Tokyo Electric’s major shareholders, only the employee’s association continued to increase its stake in the company known as Tepco after meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, the company’s filings to the finance ministry show. Tepco’s shares more than doubled in the six months ended Sept. 30 as the company pushed to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in northern Japan, a step the utility says is key in its bid to return to profitability.

Tepco isn’t sure what caused the decline in holdings by the association, said Koji Sakakibara, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the utility. Some Tepco employees may have transferred shares from the association to an account at a securities company for quicker sale if needed, Sakakibara said.

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