By Kosaku Narioka
Rakuten Group Inc. shares rose sharply Thursday morning following news that Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is considering taking a stake in Rakuten's online brokerage unit.
Shares of Rakuten were recently 4.9% higher at 687 yen after rising as much as 9.5% earlier. Shares of Mizuho were recently 0.1% higher and the Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.8%.
Mizuho plans to buy a stake of about 20% in Rakuten Securities for about JPY80 billion ($552.9 million), local media reported late Wednesday.
Mizuho said in a statement after the media reports that it is considering various tie-up opportunities with Rakuten, including the potential acquisition of a stake in Rakuten Securities, but said no formal decision has been made.
Rakuten Group has been suffering losses due partly to losses from its mobile business and has said it planned to list its banking unit and its brokerage holding company.
Write to Kosaku Narioka at firstname.lastname@example.org