Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fiendish foreigners plot to dishonour Tokyo stock market

Because “foreign investors make up 60-70% of the Tokyo stock market … some say that the [insider trading] problem won’t go away until the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission [SESC] reels in one of the big foreign hedge funds suspected … Continue reading

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Unlikely ever to be more than 16,000 corporate pension funds

Japan had 15,556 officially recognised defined-benefit company pension plans at the fiscal year end on 31 March 2012 – the first time the country has known how many job-based schemes it has since they were introduced 50 years ago. The … Continue reading

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Bureaucrats blow more yet smoke to cloud role in AIJ failure

The Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare is proposing to itself that it draft a law limiting the amount which a pension fund can invest through a single asset management company. This is silly. The only evidence of any retirement … Continue reading

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Gold wins place in Okayama Prefecture pensions portfolio

“Okayama Metal & Machinery has become the first Japanese pension fund to make public purchases of gold” reports the Financial Times. The move will put 1.5% of the scheme’s 40 billion yen of assets into bullion-backed exchange traded funds. It … Continue reading

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New Fund looks to engage companies via the “Japanese way”

Tokio Marine Asset Management and the UK’s Governance for Owners LLP have jointly launched the Japan Engagement Fund which they describe as a “unique shareholder engagement fund… investing in … small to mid‐cap quoted companies in Japan”. Seed capital for … Continue reading

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Ministry blows smoke around AIJ, looks to defend its turf

This Wednesday an “expert panel” on the AIJ affair set up by the Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare (MoHLW), will hear a recommendation from the MoHLW that the type of pension fund which made most use of AIJ be managed in future … Continue reading

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Big Tokyo and Osaka logistics hubs jam-packed to overflowing

Large-scale warehouses around Tokyo had only 4.5% of their space available for letting to new tenants at the end of the January-March quarter when those around Osaka had none. So found a survey by CBRE KK of 54 facilities of … Continue reading

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Company pension accounting rules to reach world standards

The Accounting Standards Board of Japan is now expected to issue very soon its long-awaited ruling requiring the consolidated accounts of companies listed on the country’s stock exchanges to show shortfalls in their pensions schemes as liabilities, and take a consequent … Continue reading

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Bad management brings massive UK fine for Mitsui Sumitomo

The UK’s Financial Services Authority has hit Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co (Europe) with a £3.3 million fine “for serious corporate governance failings”. The FSA has also banned the firm’s former executive chairman, Yohichi Kumagai, from working in Britain’s financial services sector … Continue reading

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Life insurers’ investment intentions befittingly boring

Japanese life companies’ plans for 2012/13 are slowly coming to light.   Reuters and the Nikkei have been unveiling the giants’ plans for their own portfolios while the likely composition of their “general accounts”, which pool investments for third-party pension … Continue reading

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