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Rakuten Surges to Record After Boosting Dividend: Tokyo Mover

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani
Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive officer of Rakuten Inc., has said the company aims to have 70 percent of sales transactions overseas by as early as 2020. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Rakuten Inc., the Japanese Internet retailer controlled by billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, surged to a record in Tokyo trading after saying it will boost its dividend.

The stock jumped 6.4 percent to 1,527 yen, the highest level since its April 2000 listing. The Topix index lost 0.5 percent.

Rakuten will raise its dividend to 4 yen a share from 3 yen a year earlier, it said in a stock exchange statement yesterday. The higher dividend includes a 1-yen-a-share commemorative payout following a plan to move its listing to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the victory by its baseball team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, in this year’s Japan Series.

The company has boosted annual revenue by at least 9 percent each year since 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has added new versions of its e-readers and pushed to expand in the domestic e-commerce market. It also also made acquisitions, including purchases of stakes in social network operator Pinterest Inc. and digital book seller Kobo as part of its strategy to compete with rivals such as Amazon.com.

Mikitani, the chief executive officer of Rakuten, has said the company aims to have 70 percent of sales transactions overseas by as early as 2020.

He has a net worth of $8.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuki Yamaguchi in Tokyo at yyamaguchi10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net

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