Japan's evolving share issues and Intel's latest purchase

The Financial Times brings us news this morning that Japan is considering a change to the way the sale of government-owned shares of NTT is handled.

The Financial Times brings us news this morning that Japan is considering a change to the way the sale of government-owned shares of NTT is handled.

Japan's ministry of finance has plans to sell up to a million shares in the company in fiscal 2001, in line with its annual offerings of recent times. A sharp drop in share price both before and after last year's sale, which nonetheless raised around Y900bn (£5bn), understandably caused concern among politicians and bureaucrats. Under consideration for future release are a steady "leakage" of NTT shares into the market, more flexible placement of shares or an open auction. The ministry is also considering reducing the role of investment banks in the share issue. The said institutions will watch developments keenly as NTT offerings have provided one of the most lucrative sources of fees for Japanese banks in recent years... Also from the FT, news that Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is to buy wireless communications products manufacturer Xircom for about $748m in cash. Xircom makes PC cards and other products to connect notebook PCs and mobile devices to corporate networks and the internet through wireless connections. The deal is part of Intel's expansion into communications equipment and will reduce its reliance on its core microprocessor business... The Guardian reports that ecommerce software developer Infobank has issued a statement insisting that revenue expectations for 2000 will be met. The company saw its share price fall more than 75 per cent in last year's internet sector upheaval. It has now said that strong growth in revenues will bring in £1.3m in the final quarter of 2000 compared with £0.7m for the third quarter. The announcement failed to persuade investors of the company's buoyancy, however, and shares fell 5p to 251.5p... Intershop has published far-lower-than-expected figures for the second quarter in a row. The company's US non-sales workforce is to be cut by a third in the "first phase of a global reorganisation" aimed at cutting costs and boosting revenue-generating activities. Full details are to be outlined at an analyst conference this month...