Japan

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

Japan’s Inflation and Monetary Policy Outlook

Our Tokyo Fixed Income team explains its view on the Japanese labor market and its effect on consumer inflation and Bank of Japan policy.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance: 4Q update

Given the release of the fourth quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.

Global trade the key for Japan

As we start 2017, we expect the continued recovery in Japan’s economy will be driven by three factors outlined in this article.

Trump as Teddy Roosevelt

Trump certainly is non-conventional, in many ways similar to Teddy Roosevelt. Hopefully, Japan can adapt to this new reality, and instead of blocking Trump's initiatives, be able to have acceptable compromise “deals” ready.

House View: Bullish on Global Equities and the USD in 2017

Nikko AM's Global Investment Committee's 2017 Outlook — More Economic and Equity Reflation, Despite Less Dovish Central Banks

Japan Equity Market Outlook 2017

We believe that in an increasingly uncertain world, Japan’s less uncertain market will provide a compelling opportunity for serious investors.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance: 3Q update

Given the release of the third quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.

Interpreting Signals in Unprecedented Times - Japan Equity Market Outlook

No turning back — 2% inflation target not only intact but enhanced with a new “inflation overshooting commitment”

Will Japan Exit the UK?

Our UK expert on BREXIT and our chief global strategist respond to Japan’s concern about its investments in the UK.

More Radical Central Bank Policies and Implications for Stock Picking

Given how important central bank policies are for the pricing of assets, our focus has to be on what they do next. If debt monetisation were to occur, it would have significant implications for equity investing.

A deeper look into Japan and China's debt problems

The prevailing market view on the region remains negative, mainly centring on China's debt problem and general doubts about Abenomics. We focus on some aspects of this negativity from a sovereign balance sheet perspective and conclude that the potential dangers are overstated.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

Given the release of the second quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.

Hitting the Mark: Can Third Arrow Reforms Benefit Investors?

Japan is a consensus-driven culture and improved corporate governance is now the consensus. There are clear signs that many companies are moving towards more shareholder-oriented management.

Japan's Election: Abe's Continued Focus on the Economy

Our Chief Strategist in Japan shares his views on political landscape and the economy.

Abenomics hasn't failed yet, but it does face global headwinds

Many are wondering if it's time to give up on Abenomics. While some of the scepticism is understandable, we believe it is too early to throw in the towel.

Slowdown but No Global Recession, with EU Cohesion, but Struggling UK

Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee’s post-BREXIT scenario, including market and economic targets, is on the moderately gloomy side.

‘Helicopter money’ could prove effective, but it entails significant risks

The leader of our Multi-Asset Team expounds on the potential benefits and risks of ‘helicopter money’ in Japan.

Japan’s Financial State is Maintainable

Our Chief Strategist in Japan explains why Japan’s government debt situation is sustainable.

Fed rate rise most likely in September, but could be delayed until 2017

Our global rates and currencies strategist in Australia lays out his dovish Fed scenario as an alternative to our house view. In it, he expects the Fed to wait until September or later to raise rates, and states his case that the Fed’s actions do not affect US bond yields.

Abenomics is Alive and Well

Our Chief Global Strategist explains the reasons why there is too much unjustified pessimism about Abenomics.

G-3 and Chinese Economies Moderately Firmer in 2016

Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on March 29th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.

Fed in June and December, but ECB or BOJ Slight Easing

We expect June and December Fed hikes, but only mild further easing ahead for the BOJ and ECB. Meanwhile, we expect oil prices to creep higher through 2016 despite the stronger USD due to relatively firm economic developments in China and the G-3.

We expect that global equity and bond investing will be positive for Yen based investors due to Yen weakness, but for USD based investors, we are taking only a neutral stance on global equities due to a cautious forecast for US equities, whereas we are positive on Asia-Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe. Meanwhile, we are moderately negative on bonds in each region when measured in USD terms, so we underweight them.

Japan's "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance - March 2016

Our global strategist sheds light on how corporate profit margins are reflecting the continuing improvement of corporate governance in Japan.

BOJ Adopts Negative Interest Rates

This policy change by the BOJ is a positive in terms of maintaining and strengthening the inflation expectations that have begun to flower.

The BOJ's Bold Move is Not a Shot in a Currency War

Unfortunately for the soundness of the sleep among BOJ-watchers, Mr. Kuroda believes that surprising the market is the best way to achieve his intended result.

The Japanese Equity Outlook After the Nasty New Year Start

Our Chief Global Strategist regards Japan positively in the global-macro context and predicts that Japanese equities will outperform global equities in the first half of 2016.

Japan Equity Outlook 2016

Our Chief Investment Officer in Japan details the many reasons for optimism on Japanese equities in 2016

Abenomics Shows Power through Tax Reform

There are many concerns about Abenomics losing its power to reform the economy, but our Chief Strategist in Japan, Naoki Kamiyama, shows that the major developments in tax reform prove that Abenomics is alive and well.

The Fed was even more Dovish than Apparent in the Headlines

John Vail reflects on the Fed decision and the path forward. The Fed was even more dovish than apparent in the headlines.

US & China Economies Sturdy in 2016; So-So for EZ and Japan

Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on December 8th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.

Fed Normalization, but not ECB or BOJ

We only expect mild further easing ahead, especially as the ECB does not wish to cause a rupture while the Fed is hiking rates.

We forecast that Asia Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe will outperform in the next six months, while the US should underperform and, thus, deserve an underweight stance vs. all other regions.

Japan's revised GDP: No Recession as Inventories Finally Realistic

Looking forward, even though inventories were revised higher, their long depletion means they remain far too low in my view, and should continue start to rise significantly in the quarters and years ahead.

Economic Disappointment in Japan Should not Worry Equity Investors

Once again, as has long been our view, disappointing macro-data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

Why the BOJ does not need to ease much, if at all

There are many reasons for the BOJ to defy consensus expectations for more easing.

Abenomics 2.0: Focusing on Women’s Participation

There is an admirable effort to improve the female participation rate, but it is too early to judge whether the measures will have a major effect.

Japan's "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance - September 2015

We explain how Abenomics is the "icing on the cake" of corporate governance improvement over the last decade.

Economic Disappointment in Japan? Key points to remember (again)

As has long been our view, disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

Abe administration's 2015-version growth strategy: Focus on productivity

We will be watching to see how companies respond this year to the Corporate Governance Code, specifically the twin issues of selling cross-shareholdings and improving capital efficiency.

Japan's “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance - June 2015

We expect that profit margins will expand further in coming quarters, driven by a large corporate tax cut and continued industry rationalizations that further prove that Japan's structural profitability trend continues upward.

Japanese Overseas Equity Exposure Rising

We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.

Market isn't overheating even after Nikkei touched 20,000

The market isn't overheating even though the Nikkei stock average touched the 20,000 level, nor do we believe that overseas markets are overheating right now.

The New Governance Code – What impact will it have on Japanese companies?

Due to the developments described in this article, there is ample room for growth at Japanese firms and much opportunity for investment success.

March Tankan Report Commentary

The March “tankan” survey results are not expected to lead to the BOJ's further acceleration of QE.

G-3 Economies Should Rebound Nicely

In sum, there certainly are some worrisome issues, as always, but we find none of them convincing enough to prevent moderate increases in equity prices.

Central Bank, Inflation, Currency, Commodity and Bond Forecasts

Central Banks: Despite firm economic growth, we believe that a negative YoY CPI through September will steady the Fed's hand.

Regional Equity and Asset Class Forecasts

Coupled with our expectation for global bond yields to rise moderately, we maintain our overweight view on global equities vs. bonds.

Japanese Equity: Improved Export Data May Indicate Turning Point for Japan

The recovery in profits by Japanese export firms should continue to attract the attention of the markets in the first half of 2015.

Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

John Vail updates his long-standing theme: Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance.

Economic Disappointment in Japan? Key points to remember (again)

The disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

What will happen to US Treasuries if Japanese government bond yields go to zero?

In a pre-GFC and pre-QE world, zero or negative interest rates on a German, Japanese or US 10-year bond would have been considered highly implausible. However...

BOJ Indicates a Move Towards "True Core CPI" More Globally

Now that oil prices have declined, if a central bank targets its overall CPI at 2.0% for 2015, it would likely be labeled as being overly aggressive and perhaps attempting to unfairly weaken its currency.

Our Regional Equity and Asset Class Forecasts

The investment world is changing quickly and 2015 should prove to be a very interesting year, but we see no reason to change our long-held positive view on global equities.

Fed "Baby Steps" and "Sneaky Sovereign" ECB QE

Recently, two major voices in the "core Fed" (Fischer and Dudley) have indicated that despite low inflation, the Fed's main scenario is to begin hiking rates in mid 2015.

G-3 Economies Should Surprise in 2015

Our Global Investment Committee always seems to meet in the middle of great volatility, and this time was no exception, with the investment world facing all sorts of new challenges.

Abenomics the Winner in Japan's Election

In our view, the LDP coalition's maintenance of a strong two-thirds majority in this election will greatly help Prime Minister Abe and his party's reform efforts, while likely bolstering Yen weakness to some degree.

Recession in Japan? 3 Key points to remember (again)

The three main points from our prior report on this topic have not changed; however, there are a few more anomalies in the data this time.

Japan's Profitability: "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance

Japan's Profitability: "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance

Equity investors should not fret too much about weak macro data, as Japanese companies have been able to overcome such for nearly a decade through rationalization and improved corporate governance.

Point of View: On Moody's Japan Rating Downgrade

Moody's downgrade of Japan to A1 will likely have very little effect on bond yields, the economy or risk-asset psychology. The major reason why is due to its odd premise of predicting too much success of Abenomics, while most market observers are not so optimistic.

Recession in Japan? 3 Key points to remember

Three important things to know about the recently announced Japanese GDP statistics that indicated that the country was in a recession.

Japan’s Key Factor: the Wealth Effect

We have long reported on the role of the wealth effect, as its importance is vastly underestimated by local and foreign investors. The 2Q data for net financial assets shows a QoQ increase to a new historical high.

Official Support for Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Theme?

Update on Japan’s “Show me the Money” corporate governance — the dividend paid by TOPIX continues to rise towards its historic high, but the payout ratio has been stagnant for the past few months, as earnings continue to rally equally well.

Japan's “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

Improving the number of independent directors and other governance issues are very important in the intermediate term for Japan, but it is crucial for investors to understand that much of the profitability message has already been understood by Japanese corporate for nearly a decade.

Super-Abenomics Key Performance Indicators - September 2014

Japan’s pipeline inflation, which we measure using the recently renamed Producer Price Index’s Finished Consumer Goods for Domestic Demand sub-component continued to be quite depressed in August.

Japan: CY14 GDP Should Exceed Consensus

Japan’s 2Q GDP growth, at -7.1% QoQ SAAR, was far below June’s consensus of -3.1% (and our -2.5% estimate) and we need to reduce our CY14 forecast, but not by much and we remain more optimistic than consensus.

Super-Abenomics Key Performance Indicators - July 2014

Domestically produced goods and imported finished consumer goods both rose mildly MoM. This must be causing much doubt at the BOJ about achieving the 2% Core CPI target.

Japan's Dividend Resurgence: “Show Me the Money”

Last month we described Japan’s “Show me the Money” corporate governance as regards the sharp rise in corporate profit margins to new highs. This theme is paralleled by the trend in dividend payments.

Multi Asset Strategies to Capture Growth with Lower Volatility

The changing shape of China's economy