Japan’s ANA to offer stock incentives to its employees

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ANA Holdings plans to offer around $60 million worth of shares to thousands of employees, the latest Japanese company to use employee share incentives as a tool to retain talent and comply with a request by the regulator to pay more attention to share price performance.

ANA will offer 100 shares worth about $20 each to about 70% of nearly 45,000 employees in November, following in the footsteps of other major Japanese firms such as Omron and Sony Group, Reuters reported.

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The employee share incentive plans coincide with one of the most severe labour shortages Japan has seen in years, and as the Tokyo Stock Exchange urges listed firms to become “more conscious” of their share prices due to concerns that far too many companies are trading below their book value.

By having more employees as shareholders, executives hope staff will be more committed to their company’s effectiveness and earnings, and therefore its stock performance.

At ANA, employees must hold on to their shares for three years before they can sell or transfer them, said Shintaro Takano, a general administration executive.

“When the pandemic hit our earnings, many employees in their thirties and forties left,” he said. “The stock incentives are aimed at beefing up engagement with employees and promoting their interest in raising corporate value.”

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