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Ashikaga Holdings to delay stock listing beyond April 2011.

TOKYO, Oct. 15 Kyodo

Ashikaga Holdings Co., whose core banking unit is in the process of business rehabilitation with the backing of Nomura Financial Partners Co. and other investors, will push back its stock listing beyond April next year, sources close to the matter said Friday.

The holding company of the Tochigi Prefecture-based Ashikaga Bank believes that it needs to put off its plan because its investors are unlikely to make much profit through sales of its shares in view of the stagnant stock market, the sources said.

Ashikaga Holdings was set to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as this autumn so that the Nomura-led investment consortium, which invested some 280 billion yen in the company, could sell off the bulk of its shareholdings.

Ashikaga Holdings said in a statement the same day that the current condition of the stock market is tough, adding it will carefully weigh the timing when it tries to apply for the listing of its stock.

Ashikaga Bank collapsed in November 2003 after piling up nonperforming loans from Japan's economic bubble era that burst in the early 1990s. It was delisted two months later as it went temporarily under state control.

Its banking operations were then handed over to the consortium and restarted as a unit of Ashikaga Holdings in 2008.

The bank posted a better-than-projected unconsolidated net profit of 40.1 billion yen in the business year through March this year.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Oct 18, 2010
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