BlackRock, Other Funds Buy Japanese Arms Manufacturers

Fund managers have stepped up purchases of some Japanese defense stocks ahead of a snap election called by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe amid increased tension with North Korea.

BlackRock Inc. disclosed Thursday that it has raised its holding in Ishikawa Seisakusho Ltd., a mine maker, to 8.75 percent, and revealed a 6.61 percent stake in Howa Machinery Ltd., a producer of firearms. Fund managers have been buying larger defense names as well, such as IHI Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

Ishikawa has seen its stock surge six-fold in 2017, partly fueled by individual investors buying the shares. BlackRock couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Investor

Target

Latest change

Current stake

BlackRockIshikawa SeisakushoBought 216,300 shares8.75%
BlackRockHowa MachineryBought 829,100 shares6.61%
BlackRockKawasaki HeavyBought 7,600 shares6.07%
BlackRockIHIBought 647,497 shares5.96%
Daiwa SecuritiesKawasaki HeavyBought 191,600 shares1.01%
Nikko AMKawasaki HeavyBought 11,300 shares1.01%
Nikko AMIHIBought 11,900 shares0.96%
Nomura AMIshikawa SeisakushoBought 3,600 shares1.01%
Nomura AMHowa MachineryBought 7,900 shares1.24%
Nomura AMKawasaki HeavyBought 107,000 shares2.21%
Nomura AMIHIBought 30,319 shares2.01%
State StreetIHIBought 1.32m shares5.62%
State StreetShinmaywa IndustriesBought 412,000 shares2.51%

(Bloomberg data on transactions over Sept. 29-Oct. 5)

— With assistance by Min Jeong Lee

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