Good News: Japan Has 'Room to Buy'
Japan's largest pension fund just lost $51 billion for the quarter. The reported results vary a bit depending on exchange rate fluctuations.
The result wipes out all gains since October of 2014. But look on the bright side: Giant Losses Imply a Shopping Spree.
The world's biggest pension fund has room for a Japan stock shopping spree after the value of its investments tumbled last quarter.
The $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund would need to spend $53 billion on domestic shares to meet its target for the asset, according to Bloomberg News calculations, after the fund said Friday that holdings fell to 21 percent of investments at the end of June. Its goal is a quarter of the portfolio. The fund also has scope to offload $56 billion in domestic bonds after falling yields boosted their weight to 39 percent of the total, above the 35 percent level it seeks to hold.
"They have room to buy," said Hideyuki Suzuki, general manager at SBI Securities Co. in Tokyo. "They're the type of investor that purchases when shares fall and the value of their assets decline."
GPIF posted a 5.2 trillion yen ($51 billion) loss in the quarter ended June as local stock investments slumped 7.4 percent while foreign bonds and overseas shares also slumped. Domestic debt was the only asset class to post a profit, handing the fund a 1.9 percent return, GPIF said on Friday.
The quarterly result follows a 5.3 trillion yen loss in the fiscal year ended March, and means GPIF has now wiped out all its investment gains since it overhauled its strategy by deciding to cut bonds and put half of assets in equities in October 2014.
"Room to Buy"
I actually like the buy Japanese stocks idea, yen-hedged, on the basis Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and the Japanese central bank will sooner or later destroy the Yen sending nominal stock prices soaring.
Not only do pension funds have "room to buy", so does the central bank.