By Kosaku Narioka

Japanese financial stocks fell sharply Thursday morning, as the country's government bond yields dropped amid continuing concerns about the health of the financial sector following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week.

Shares of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. were recently 6.6% lower and Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. shares were down 7.1%.

Shares of Japan Post Bank Co. were 5.6% lower at 1,106 yen ($8.29), falling below their offering price of Y1,131 a share. The stock sale is scheduled to be completed on March 20.

Japan Post Bank's parent holding company is planning to sell shares in a bid to improve the ratio of shares traded freely by public investors.

The 10-year Japanese government bond yield was 3 basis points lower at 0.290%, as prospects dim for the Bank of Japan's shift away from its ultra-low interest rate policy.

Lower government bond yields mean banks and insurers can charge lower interest rates on commercial loans and earn smaller yields from bonds and other financial investments.

Following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, concerns have grown about the health of the financial sector around the world.

Credit Suisse, whose shares fell sharply Wednesday, said it would exercise its option to raise as much as 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.57 billion) from the Swiss National Bank in a bid to stanch liquidity concerns.

Write to Kosaku Narioka at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-15-23 2247ET