Tokyo IPO's site helps investors get in early on Japan's IPOs -- in English, even.

Back to Contents of Issue: May 2000

by Gail Nakada

Japanese IPO information is hard to come by in any language. Underwriters here traditionally channel financial details of upcoming offerings to favorite corporate clients, leaving most private investors so far out in the cold it's positively glacial. Tokyo IPO is determined to heat up the investment environment in favor of individual players. Launched in mid-February, this free, bilingual (English/ Japanese) service aims to provide a comprehensive listing of Japanese pre-IPO and post-IPO offerings. Each company listed contains a breakdown of financial information, proposed date of IPO, plus underwriters and contact numbers. Pre-IPO listings should be far enough in advance for interested investors to research the companies before making a decision.

Also, a Japanese-language IPO e-zine is issued every Monday with an English-language version scheduled for release sometime in the next three months. The magazine works as a push medium, directing readers to the site for more detailed information on IPOs mentioned in feature articles.

The company behind Tokyo IPO is Bargain America, an e-commerce and e-content provider based in San Jose, California, that markets American goods to Japanese. Why the financial site? "The profile of Japanese investors is male, 30 to late 40s, affluent," says Bargain America cofounder and CEO Tom Sato. "They are technologically savvy and know how to handle the Net. Those demographics are perfect for us."

Bargain America inserts ads into the e-zine for products featured on its etail site [both in Japanese], hopefully generating enough revenue back into Bargain America to partially finance the new venture. Sato is quick to point out the company avoids conflict of interest and features no products in the e-zine from possible IPO listings.

The company says it covers all Japanese securities markets, including the TSE, the OSE, Mothers, and Nasdaq Japan (once it begins trading next month). "Internet stocks," says Sato, "are going to drive the (Japanese) marketplace."

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