The biggest IPO for the year belongs to Japan Post, a postal service in Japan, which raised 1.44 trillion yen on Nov. 4, equivalent to a staggering $11.9 billion.

The sale of shares in state-owned Japan Post was the biggest since the IPO of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba in September of last year, which raised $25 billion.

The Japanese government, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been seeking to push Japan Post's share prices up higher, in connection with policies that are looking to revive the sluggish economic growth of the Asian country. Japan Post's IPO helped in pushing the benchmark Nikkei 225 index to its highest level for the past two months.

Most people would ask, however, how a postal service company could raise so much when its counterparts in other countries, such as the US Postal Service and the Royal Mail of the United Kingdom, are currently struggling. The answer to that is because Japan Post is not just merely a post office.

Japan Post, in addition to offering mail delivery services, is also offering banking services, loans and insurance to customers. It has been described as a company similar to having UPS, Bank of America and Allstate combined into one.

As such, the IPO actually involved the listing of three different kinds of stocks. The first kind is that of Japan Post Holdings, the parent company. The other two kinds of stocks are of Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance, which are the parent company's units.

In addition to the two units, Japan Post Holdings is also the parent company of Japan Post Network, Japan Post Service and Toll Group.

Japan Post has more than 24,000 branches in the country, with 18.8 billion parcels processed last year that makes it the third busiest postal service behind those from the United States and Germany. The parent company is also the 38th biggest company worldwide, with revenues of more than $126 billion.

Japan Post Bank is the biggest Japanese bank, with deposits held at around $1.4 trillion as it offers a wide range of financial services such as loans and credit cards. Japan Post Insurance is a massive business as well, with a core profit posted last year of just below $4 billion.

Shares of the holding company surged by 26 percent at the close of trading on Nov. 4, while Japan Post Bank shares increased 15 percent and Japan Post Insurance shared jumped 56 percent.

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Tags: Japan Post IPO