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Bank of the Ryukyus eyeing new capital

Date Posted: 1999-08-20

The Bank of the Ryukyus is planning to raise ¥20 billion in capital through a float of new shares, and may consider an application for public funds, it was learned Tuesday. The bank is expected to announce further details of its plan by month’s end.

The bank said it planned to invite major local companies and the prefectural government to buy the shares, while expressing its readiness to seek public funds. According to one bank official, the Bank of the Ryukyus is “currently examining the terms that public funds can be obtained.”

The Bank of the Ryukyus posted an unconsolidated pretax loss of ¥18.6 billion in the 1998 fiscal year that ended March 31, marking a second consecutive yearly loss. Bank officials said the losses resulted mainly from writing off some ¥30 billion in bad loans. The loss also brought down the bank’s capital ration to 5.78 percent.

The bank plans to raise capital by floating preferred shares to be allotted to corporate investors. Public funds could be injected by selling shares to the government. The bank clearly would prefer to raise the new capital without public funds, but may not be able to do so, according to informed sources within the banking industry.

The nation’s banking regulators recently said they want regional banks to maintain a minimum 8 percent capital ratio.

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