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Markets News

UPDATE 1-Japan Post Holdings takes $29 bln charge on bank's stock drop

(Adds comment from CEO)

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd said on Wednesday it would book a one-off charge of 3.04 trillion yen ($28.8 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 due to a sharp fall in the market value of its 88.99% owned Japan Post Bank Co Ltd.

Shares in Japan Post Bank closed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at 821 yen on Wednesday and its stock price has dropped by more than 20% since May.

“While it’s difficult to identify the reason for the share drop, we are taking the current price level seriously and will keep trying to improve corporate values,” the chief executive of Japan Post Holdings, Hiroya Masuda, said at a news briefing.

Japan Post Holdings said in a statement that there will be no change to its consolidated earnings forecast for the current fiscal year as a result of the charge.

Under accounting rules, if the unit’s shares close below 50% of the average price Japan Post Holdings paid for its stake, the conglomerate is required to reassess the value of the holding and book a one-time charge.

Japan Post Holdings does not disclose the price level where it would be required to book an extraordinary charge. ($1=105.5300 yen) (Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Alexander Smith)

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