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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sony to Split Shares

TOKYO -- Japan's king of consumer electronics, Sony Corp., said Monday that it plans a two-for-one share split next May in a move designed to make it easier for individual investors to buy its stock.

Sony, often at the forefront of a high-tech buying spree sweeping the Tokyo stock market in 1999 has seen its share price climb threefold to over 24,000 yen ($233) from 8,000 yen at the beginning of the year.

The surprise announcement came after the close of trade Monday in which Sony's shares ended down 2.02 percent or 500 points at 24,300 yen.

"The share split is to attract more individual investors in Sony shares. As Sony's stock price has risen sharply lately, it was getting more difficult for them to buy Sony stock," said Yoshimasa Chiba, Sony's shareholder relations general manager.

Several of Japan's highflying stocks have embarked on share splits this year to broaden their investor base and thus increase potential demand for their shares.