Shinsei Bank Far from Repaying Public Funds amid Low Stock Price

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Shinsei Bank <8303>, which has captured the spotlight recently due to a sudden takeover bid from major Japanese online financial service firm SBI Holdings Inc. <8473>, continues struggling to shore up its operations, with its share prices remaining low for a long period of time.

The bank has little prospect of repaying about 350 billion yen in public funds, or taxpayer money, provided by the government in the past. In 2009, it agreed with Aozora Bank <8304> on their merger for survival. But the merger accord broke down the following year.

Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Shinsei’s predecessor, had supported Japan’s miraculous economic growth after World War II, but went bankrupt in October 1998 in the wake of the collapse of the country’s asset inflation-driven bubble economy at the time and was temporarily put under state control. The bank made a fresh start with its current name under the lead of a foreign fund in 2000.

Shinsei’s stock prices topped 8,000 yen shortly after it was relisted on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February 2004. Following the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, Shinsei stock sank and traded around between 1,000 yen and 2,000 yen.

In 2009, the Financial Services Agency mapped out a plan to merge Shinsei and Aozora, formerly Nippon Credit Bank, which also underpinned Japan’s postwar economic boom and went bust about two months after the collapse of LTCB, in an effort to collect the public funds pumped into the bank. But the plan ended in failure.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press