Hedge Fund Effissimo Boosts Stake in Japan Shipper to Key Level

Effissimo Capital Management Pte, the hedge fund set up by former colleagues of activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami, increased its stake in a Japanese shipper to a level that gives it the right to veto some proposals at shareholder meetings.

The Singapore-based asset manager now holds 34.1 percent of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., according to a regulatory filing submitted to Japan’s finance ministry Thursday. Effissimo has been reporting the position since September and is the company’s largest shareholder. Stock owners with more than a third of voting rights can reject resolutions on areas such as mergers or director dismissals.

“The fact that they’re raising their stake could fuel speculation,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, general manager at SBI Securities Co. in Tokyo. “At the end of the day, they’re known as an active investor. They probably think that if some aspect of the business is improved, the share price will rise.”

Effissimo declined to comment on specific holdings. The company described its stake in the filing as a financial investment rather than an activist holding. Masaya Futakuchi, a spokesman for Kawasaki Kisen, declined to comment. The shipper’s stock is down 9.9 percent since the hedge fund first disclosed a stake.

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