With ongoing reforms in the Japanese economy continuing to be a hot topic globally, a high profile seminar hosted by Bloomberg in Tokyo this week focused on one of the core elements of Japan’s growth strategy – reforms to the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF).
With USD 1.2 trillion under management, GPIF is the largest pension fund in the world and any reforms to its focus and actions can have a significant impact on the structure of the Japanese economy and on markets.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced reforms that would expand GPIF’s Board. Market watchers are closely monitoring whether GPIF will also take a stronger position in higher yielding assets beyond its government bonds focus.
At the seminar, which was webcast live from Tokyo to Bloomberg offices in London, Singapore and Hong Kong, Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Member House of Representatives and Acting Chairman of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party spoke indepth on Japan’s economic revival and GPIF reform.
Mr. Shiozaki said that GPIF governance reform is paramount and emphasized that reforms can drive corporate governance improvements and raise Japan’s ROE.
Other speakers representing academia, business and financial markets were Mr. Yasuyuki Konuma, Executive Officer (New Listings and Market Business Development), Tokyo Stock Exchange; Professor Takatoshi Ito, Professor of the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies and Project Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy from the University of Tokyo and the President and CEO of SPARX Group, Mr. Shuhei Abe.
Panelists commented that GPIF reform was likely to proceed over the long-term. They also noted that GPIF’s ability to potentially invest directly into companies will elevate shareholder status, motivate companies to generate greater earnings and returns, and boost Japan’s overall competitiveness.
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