SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Corp shares slumped more than 10 percent on debut, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the telecoms operator and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei.

The poor start for the unit of investment giant SoftBank Group Corp was uncommon in the Japanese IPO market. Of 82 IPOs so far this year, SoftBank was only the seventh to open below the IPO price. Among recent major IPOs, Japan Display was the only one to flop, suffering a fall in its 2014 debut.

“Retail investors are dumping shares after seeing the opening below IPO price, also affected by a service outage,” a market analyst at a brokerage said, declining to be named because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“But I don’t expect the shares will fall much further given their dividend yield and expectations for being included in stock indexes,” he said.

Following its $23.5 billion initial public offering, shares of SoftBank Corp fell as far as JPY 1,344 five minutes into trade, or 10.4 percent lower than its IPO price of JPY1,500. The broader Tokyo market was up 0.1 percent.

SoftBank Corp shares were most heavily traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, accounting for about a third of the total turnover volume.

At 10:48 a.m. (0148 GMT), the shares were at JPY 1,384, after opening at JPY 1,463. SoftBank Group was up 0.5 percent.

SoftBank Corp CEO Ken Miyauchi will hold a news conference at 0630 GMT.

The IPO was just shy of the world record $25 billion 2014 listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, a SoftBank Group portfolio company.

During the IPO period, Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network provider by subscriber numbers suffered a rare nationwide service outage, which it said would not affect earnings or dividends.

Adding to investor worries, SoftBank Corp’s relationship with Huawei Technologies Co came under scrutiny as governments around the world moved to shut out the Chinese firm amid worries its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.

SoftBank Corp, which has the most exposure to Huawei among Japanese telecoms firms, plans to replace Huawei-provided 4G network equipment with other suppliers’ hardware, two sources said, in a process likely to be time-consuming and expensive.

IPOs are popular among Japanese retail investors, many of whom see them as sure profit bets given their tendency to open much higher than offering prices.

In SoftBank Corp’s case, an added attraction was its promise of a dividend payout of 85 percent, much higher than those of rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp.

The IPO attracted about twice as many retail orders as the number of shares offered, sources at lead underwriters said last week. A smaller portion of shares offered to overseas intuitional investors was three times oversubscribed.

[“source=cnbc”]

After high decibel campaign, Rajasthan, Telangana vote today: All you need to know

Police personnel march in front of the Hawa Mahal ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Jaipur. (Photo: PTI)

After a high-voltage campaign that saw a fierce war of words among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and other regional parties, voting in two of the most crucial states, Telangana and Rajasthan, has started Friday.

What is likely to throw some light on how the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would turn out, these state elections will set the stage for the mega battle next year.

As soon as polling ends on Friday, media outlets, including India Today TV, will announce their respective exit poll results.

TELANGANA

In Telangana, more than 1.50 lakh polling officials, including reserve staff were seen giving final touches on Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations for the 119 stations.

High pitched campaigns by political heavyweights across party lines ended at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Additional DG (law and order) Jitender told PTI on Thursday that about one lakh police personnel, including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

A senior police official said security has been beefed up at bordering areas for the polling on Friday, which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

On Wednesday, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and several others criss-crossed the entire state to give that final push to the campaign before the state votes on Friday.

While KCR was without doubt the star campaigner for TRS, the Congress and the BJP fielded their bigwigs for campaigning which turned out to be a shrill one.

A massive TRS rally in Telangana’s Vemulawada on Wednesday. (Image: TRSParty/Twitter)

The BJP relied on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah.

The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

It is to be seen if KCR’s gamble to opt for early elections pays off while the BJP and Congress have alleged that KCR feared loss if the elections were held simultaneously with the 2019 general elections.

The Congress has stitched the ‘Prajakutami’ (People’s Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the CPI to take on the ruling TRS, led by KCR.

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

The BJP, which won five seats in alliance with the TDP in the last elections in 2014, said it ensured that there is a triangular fight in Telangana this time.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

As many as 1,821 candidates, including a transgender, are in the fray in the election.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Near-total hartal throws life out of gear

 

KSRTC buses remained at the Central Depot at Thampanoor on Tuesday owing to the BJP hartal | B P Deepu

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by BJP district committee in protest against the alleged police high handedness on some activists in a Secretariat march disrupted the normal life in the capital. However, the hartal was peaceful and near total except some minor skirmishes at Neyyattinkara in the outskirts of the city.  The strike affected the functioning of government offices.

Schools and colleges remained closed while the Secretariat functioned with a thin attendance. Banks and commercial establishments remained closed too. The BJP had conducted a march towards the Secretariat on Tuesday in protest against the police action. A woman activist was injured after she was hit by a tear gas shell during the march.

The 23rd IFFK was conducted as usual, but the inflow of delegates was less compared to other days. The transportation of delegates was a problem as they had to walk towards the venues. The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy had also arranged food for delegates in association with State Prisons Department.
According to the police, no major acts of violence were reported as the KSRTC buses and private buses decided to keep off the road. However, train services were not disrupted.

Normal life hit
Schools and colleges remained closed while the Secretariat functioned with a thin attendance. The inflow of delegates was less compared to other days at the IFFK. According to the police, no major acts of violence were reported

[“source=forbes]

Parties gear up for Florida challenges

Supporters of Republican candidates demand the ouster of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes Friday in Lauderhill, Fla.

The razor-thin Senate race in Florida erupted into outright partisan warfare Friday as Democrats pressed for a recount and Republicans – including President Trump – accused local election officials of tilting the outcome against them.

Republicans offered no evidence that fraud was to blame for a diminishing lead in heavily Democratic Broward County in South Florida, where the still-unfinished counting of absentee and provisional ballots has narrowed Republican Rick Scott’s statewide lead to less than one-half of a percentage point.

The margin is expected to trigger a recount of ballots, which could begin as early as Saturday in counties across the state. But it has also prompted an uproar from Republicans.

“Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they ‘found’ many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes,” Trump tweeted Friday. ” ‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?”

In addition, protesters took to the sidewalks outside the county’s election offices in Lauderhill to demand the ouster of Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Broward, who has faced a string of accusations over the last decade over mismanaged elections.

“It’s a mob scene,” said William Scherer, a Republican attorney representing Scott and who worked for George W. Bush in the recount during the 2000 presidential election. “This is like deja vu all over again.”

A lawyer for Democrat Bill Nelson, Marc Elias, said in a call with reporters Friday that the canvass underway in Broward and elsewhere in Florida is a “feature, not a flaw, of our democratic system” to be sure all valid votes are counted. He accused Republicans of falsely claiming voter fraud simply because the margin had changed.

“The lead is just over 15,000 votes now, which seemed to cause the governor to hold an impromptu news conference to acknowledge the shrinking state of the margin,” Elias said.

Both campaigns filed lawsuits Thursday. Scott accused Broward and Palm Beach county election officials of fraud, but offered no evidence beyond procedural errors and Scott’s dwindling vote margin.

Nelson’s suit seeks to re-examine absentee and provisional ballots when signatures on the ballots don’t match voter registration records. In Georgia last week, a federal judge ordered local election officials to stop throwing out ballots based on signature issues.

The Scott campaign lashed out at the suit. “Their desperation has driven them to ask the federal courts to allow voter fraud,” Scott campaign manager Jackie Schutz Zeckman said.

But reports have poured in from voters complaining that their ballots had been improperly rejected; one came from Patrick Murphy, the former Democratic congressman from Palm Beach who tweeted: “Just saw notice from @PBCounty that my absentee ballot wasn’t counted due to ‘invalid signature’ match. Should be +1 @NelsonForSenate @AndrewGillum. Must overhaul these ridiculous barriers to voting.”

In the Senate race, Scott had a lead over Nelson Friday afternoon of just more than 16,000 votes, or 0.19 percent, according to The Associated Press. In the governor’s race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, D, trailed former congressman Ron DeSantis, R, by more than 36,000 votes, or 0.45 percent.

Under Florida law, a statewide machine recount is conducted when the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent.

[“source=forbes]