Japan Post IPO Triggers Surge in Account Openings at Brokerages

Japanese brokerages saw a surge in the number of accounts opened by individuals after Japan Post’s $12 billion initial public offering spurred investor appetite for shares.

Nomura Holdings Inc., the nation’s biggest securities firm, has added about 2,500 accounts opened each day on average so far in October, almost double the daily average for 2014, people with knowledge of the matter said. New accounts at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. increased more than 50 percent in September, when the IPO was announced, from August, the firm said in an e-mailed statement.

In a time of increased market volatility, the account openings are a boon for Japanese securities firms and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been trying to get citizens to invest more of their savings to help reflate the economy. Almost 80 percent of the state-owned postal group’s IPO of its holding company and banking and insurance units was sold to Japanese individuals, and strong demand prompted the government to price the three stocks at the top end of marketed ranges.

The sale of Japan Post is the nation’s biggest privatization since 1987 and the largest IPO worldwide so far this year. Nomura and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley were global coordinators along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., firms that mainly handled the overseas portion of the offering. About 60 brokerages worked on the deal, and are set to receive about 24.5 billion yen ($204 million) in fees, according to Bloomberg calculations based on a Finance Ministry statement.

Kenji Yamashita, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Nomura, declined to comment.

SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s second-biggest bank, added accounts in September and October at almost twice the pace of the quarter ended June, according to spokesman Jiro Inuzuka, who declined to provide specific figures.

Japan Post Holdings Co. and its banking and insurance arms will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Nov. 4.

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