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Capital Markets

Profile - Charles Beazley, Nikko Asset Management: Poised for growth

Fund managers seem to have a blind spot when it comes to Japan, despite some unique investment opportunities. Charles Beazley, president of Nikko Asset Management (Europe) sets out the case for Japanese equities.

This article appears courtesy of Global Investor

Which country has one of the world’s largest developed economies, with a savings pool to match, with an enviable range of blue chip, global brands and a pioneering high-tech capability, but which is routinely ignored by emerging market asset managers, leaving allocation to the market at a 20-year low?

Such is the challenge facing Charles Beazley, president of Nikko Asset Management (Europe), when making the case for Japanese equities to fund managers in the West. Historically, the reasons for this lack of interest have been, he says, “an absence of advocacy, a lack of understanding and a feeling that to invest in Japan is somehow uncool.”

Investors’ approach to Japan is coloured by a perception that its market performance is suffering; that it has a creaking banking system; and that the intensely conservative political system has not allowed the implementation of much-needed market reforms. These and other assumptions may well be based on correct data, Beazely says, yet the undeniable fact is that Japan remains the second largest economy in the world. “If assets are routinely allocated to the US on the basis that it is the biggest economy in the world, why are assets not being allocated in proportionate amounts to the second biggest?” he asks.

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