Japanese stocks could rise 30% off governance

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Research by Standard Life Investments suggests that Japanese stocks could rise 15%-30% simply as a result of improvements in corporate governance.

The view is put forward in the manager’s latest Global Perspectives report.

Govinda Finn, senior Japan analyst and Chris Faulkner-MacDonagh, markets strategist, have made the connection to developments stemming from Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, including a push to encourage growth and investments by Japanese companies.

Finn said: “Many global investors have moved heavy or overweight in Japanese equity markets since the Abe government gained power. Yet Japan faces a growth conundrum. With a declining population and high levels of economic development, the prospect of future growth led by capital accumulation is low.”

“To ensure that global investment in Japan becomes a longer term phenomenon, rather than a short term tactical trade, efforts to improve the capital efficiency of Japanese companies, and raise the return on equity for shareholders, become ever more important.

“Key engagement and governance policies for shareholders and institutional investors to monitor for progress over the coming months are: increasing board independence; expanding investor relations efforts; M&A activity; return on equity strategies; shareholder voting practices; restructuring of business operations; plus environmental and social policies.

“There is hope that a transition to a more market based engagement approach will encourage businesses in Japan to make better investment decisions and boost shareholder value. This approach, when combined with other initiatives in the nation’s revitalisation plan such as trade liberalisation and labour market reform, may unlock further productivity growth.”

To view the report click here: http://pdf.standardlifeinvestments.com/exported/pdf/email_links/CO_GS_Perspective_M06_15.pdf


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