Japan stocks fall as NTT bid for wireless unit rattles telcos

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks fall as NTT bid for wireless unit rattles telcos
Credit: © Reuters.

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Tuesday for the first time in three sessions as telecom major NTT's 9432.T bid to take complete ownership of its mobile unit, NTT Docomo 9437.T , weighed on rival mobile network operators.

The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 fell 0.55% to 23,382.89 by 01:44 GMT. The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.83% to 1,648.07.

NTT said it was looking at taking full control of its wireless carrier business, NTT Docomo, in a tender offer that could be worth around 4 trillion yen ($38 billion). buyout will be discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday, NTT said in a statement after the Nikkei newspaper reported the deal. The value of the 34% of NTT Docomo's shares not owned by NTT is based on a 30% premium to Monday's closing price.

NTT Docomo's shares were untraded with a glut of buy orders, while NTT's shares fell 5.18%.

Rival mobile carriers also fell as the acquisition is expected to pile on pressure to lower mobile phone fees and increase competition for the roll out of 5G services. Shares of KDDI Corp 9433.T lost 4.21%, while shares of SoftBank Corp 9434.T fell 5.19%.

Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has made lowering mobile costs a policy priority, and the government is NTT's biggest shareholder.

Japanese stocks also fell as many shares went ex-dividend before the next round of corporate earnings.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were venture fund SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T , up 2.3%, followed by Keyence Corp 6861.T , up 2.25%.

There were 38 advancers on the Nikkei index against 182 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.41 billion, compared to the average of 1.14 billion in the past 30 days.

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