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June 29, 1987

IT’s NTT 1, SOKAIYA NIL AS JAPAN AGREES TO FOREIGN UNDERWRITERS FOR SECOND SALE

By CBR Staff Writer

The Japanese Finance Ministry has decided that in principle, foreign firms will be permitted to share in the underwriting of the second public issue of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone shares, set for October. The four expected to get the foreign seats are Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers, all of New York, and S G Warburg of London. Meantime, according to the Financial Times, that peculiarly Japanese institution, the Sokaiya, made its presence felt at the first annual meeting of NTT – and came off second best to the company’s chairman, former shipbuilder Hisashi Shinto, who gave short shrift to questions like It is said that you pinched your secretary on the Joban railway line. The business of the Sokaiya is to run a protection racket whereby they demand payment to ensure that a company’s annual meeting goes off peacefully and without embarrassment: if they get paid off, they sit on any dissident shareholder, if not, they sprinkle their members around the hall and ask embarrassing or time-wasting questions.

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