Ginga Explorer Hedge Fund Bets on Japanese Builders on Abe Hopes

Ginga Explorer Fund, a Japan-focused hedge fund run by Stats Investment Management Co., is focusing on construction stocks on expectations new stimulus measures will revive the domestic economy and boost demand.

Ginga returned 9.3 percent in January after a 23 percent gain in 2012, said Masamitsu Ohki, who manages the fund. The performance helped lure 1 billion yen ($11 million) in new allocations from investors this month, helping bring back the assets to 2.1 billion yen after Tokyo-based Stats was punished over negligent management of a pension fund in October, he said.

The nation’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average has advanced to the highest level since September 2008 this month as investors became more optimistic that new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will accelerate efforts to fight deflation. The government’s plan to boost public works as part of 10.3 trillion stimulus package will benefit firms that pave roads and lend construction equipment, Ohki said.

“It’s possible the market is at its peak now,” Ohki, a former financial analyst at firms including Deutsche Bank AG for 11 years through 2009, said in an interview in Tokyo on Feb. 15. “I should pick stocks that are less vulnerable to the yen’s swings.”

Ginga’s returns compare with the Eurekahedge Japan Index’s 5.2 percent increase last month and a 6.4 percent gain in 2012.

Ohki is betting that Abe’s Cabinet will maintain its support for the economy at least until the middle of this year when upper-house elections will be held.

The Nikkei jumped 7.2 percent in January, led by exporters including Sony Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp., as the yen touched the weakest since May 2010 against the dollar, helping boost the value of their overseas earnings.

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