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Good governance, valuations pique funds' interest in Japan stocks

Singapore

FUND managers could awaken the Japanese market from its slumber this year as they begin betting on the country's stocks.

Arnout van Rijn's 900 million euro (S$1.4 billion) Asia-Pacific equity fund is 44 per cent invested in Japanese stocks as at end-June this year. This is more than the 40 per cent weight Japan carries on the fund's large-cap and mid-cap benchmark, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index.

Mr van Rijn, who is executive vice-president and Asia-Pacific chief investment officer of Dutch fund manager Robeco, cited vastly improved corporate governance as a major factor.

"Asian equities trade below global equities because of a corporate governance discount," Mr van Rijn told The Business...

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