Monday, 15 March 2021

Rakuten shares jump 24% on Japan Post stake sale




Rakuten Inc’s shares jumped as much as 24% on Monday after the Japanese e-commerce firm said it would raise $2.2 billion through a stake sale to companies including Japan Post and Tencent as it takes on Amazon.Rakuten shares were trading up 18% at 1,471 yen at 02:28 GMT - the biggest rise in 17 years - after earlier hitting a daily limit high of 1,545 yen. That brings Rakuten’s share gain from Friday to almost 30% and lifts its market cap to 2.1 trillion yen ($19.4 billion).


The deal is a funding injection for Rakuten’s investments in logistics, where it is competing with Amazon and SoftBank’s newly bulked-up internet business, and in mobile, where it is taking on the three incumbent carriers.“Rakuten could receive significant help from the expert in logistics services,” Jefferies analyst Hiroko Sato wrote in a note, referring to Japan Post, which operates 24,000 post offices nationwide.

The mobile business “has been a huge drag on its valuations and earnings for a while now but one which will see costs peak this term,” wrote Asymmetric Advisors analyst Amir Anvarzadeh in a note.

Investors also warmed to potential partnerships with backers Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, and Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, which is also a buyer in Rakuten’s share sale and is leading a digital fightback against Amazon in the United States.

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