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Friday, Sep. 28, 2012

JAL foreign investors exceed limit


Staff writer

Some 39.5 percent of Japan Airlines Corp.'s shares were held by non-Japanese as of Wednesday, exceeding the legal ceiling, according to data released by a securities industry group.

Under the Civil Aeronautics Law, the ratio of non-Japanese voting rights in Japanese airlines must be less than 33.3 percent.

JAL is thus allowed to refuse to register some of the shares held by foreign investors on its shareholders list if the voting rights of foreigners exceed the legal limit. Without being registered, the stocks won't be given voting rights or dividends.

The airline is scheduled to make a shareholders' list at the end of September based on the information from Japan Securities Depository Center Inc. (JASDEC), which provides services involving transfers of stock ownership.

The carrier is now mulling how the company should include foreign investors' stocks in its shareholders list in a manner "as fair as possible," a JAL spokesman said, adding voting rights will be proportionately redistributed to foreign stockholders while keeping to the ceiling.

The carrier, which went bankrupt in January 2010, had its shares relisted on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Sept. 19.

JAL has sold 25 percent, or 43,750,000 shares, to overseas investors and the remaining 131,250,000 shares to Japanese, the spokesman said. However, the percentage of foreign shareholders grew to 39.46 percent after a week of trading, according to JASDEC's data.

This is the first time the percentage of its foreign shareholders has exceeded the limit, the spokesman said.



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