31 October 2001, 08:52  SHIOKAWA - MOF MULLS WHETHER TO SPEED UP SALES OF NTT, JAPAN TOBACCO STOCKS

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said the ministry is considering accelerating sales of Nippon Telegraph Corp and Japan Tobacco Inc to make up for a potential shortage in tax revenue next fiscal year. "The law forcing the government to hold some of these shares is blocking further sales of stock but if the law's restrictions were lifted, there would be a substantial volume that we can sell," Shiokawa said. "So we are considering how to sell them," he told a parliamentary Lower House economic and fiscal policy committee in response to a question on how the government will cope a possible shortage in tax revenue.

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