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Tokyo Metro May Go Public in FY 2024

The Japan News file photo
Tokyo metropolitan government office

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The central and Tokyo metropolitan governments are aiming for the stock listing of Tokyo Metro Co. in fiscal 2024, which starts in April, by selling part of their holdings of shares in the subway operator, it was learned Friday.

They are the only Tokyo Metro shareholders, with the central government owning 53.4% of the firm’s outstanding shares and the metropolitan government 46.6 pct. They plan to release a combined 50% stake in Tokyo Metro, informed sources said.

The national government plans to use its proceeds for reconstruction measures in areas hit by the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami.

The Tokyo government’s draft fiscal 2024 budget, announced Friday, includes about ¥3.6 billion for expenses related to the planned share sale. It will hold talks with the central government about details of the sale after the enactment of the budget, slated for late March, the sources said.

The two sides will decide a specific timing for the share release while monitoring stock market trends. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average is moving at its highest levels in about 34 years.

The law on securing funds for reconstruction in the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster stipulates that the proceeds of the sale of Tokyo Metro shares held by the central government be used to redeem reconstruction bonds.

In a report compiled in March 2022, the Fiscal System Council, which advises the finance minister, said that the central and Tokyo governments should jointly take procedures needed for the sale of Tokyo Metro shares and conduct the sale at the same time, suggesting that it would be appropriate for them to keep a combined stake of 50% in the company after the sale.

The central and Tokyo governments are expected to make necessary preparations based on the proposal, according to the sources.