Japanese Online Firm May Turn to Nasdaq

Associated Press

Online service provider Internet Initiative Japan reportedly plans to go public on the U.S. market, in what would be the first case of a Japanese firm listing shares abroad before doing so at home.

The company hopes to raise about $150 million in its share offering, which may come as early as August on Nasdaq, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's leading business newspaper, reported Tuesday evening.

The move by IIJ to list abroad would be a blow to Japan's stock market, which is trying to raise its international competitiveness.

The news also comes just days after the Tokyo Stock Exchange said it will open a new market early next year with relaxed listing requirements to attract smaller companies struggling to raise capital.

Nihon said IIJ is turning to Nasdaq because it is facing increasing competition from giant Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, which has easy access to capital.

IIJ was established in 1992 as the first domestic Net access provider.

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