There is an admirable effort to improve the female participation rate, but it is too early to judge whether the measures will have a major effect.
We explain how Abenomics is the "icing on the cake" of corporate governance improvement over the last decade.
As has long been our view, disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.
We will be watching to see how companies respond this year to the Corporate Governance Code, specifically the twin issues of selling cross-shareholdings and improving capital efficiency.
We expect that profit margins will expand further in coming quarters, driven by a large corporate tax cut and continued industry rationalizations that further prove that Japan's structural profitability trend continues upward.
We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.
The market isn't overheating even though the Nikkei stock average touched the 20,000 level, nor do we believe that overseas markets are overheating right now.
Due to the developments described in this article, there is ample room for growth at Japanese firms and much opportunity for investment success.
The March “tankan” survey results are not expected to lead to the BOJ's further acceleration of QE.
In sum, there certainly are some worrisome issues, as always, but we find none of them convincing enough to prevent moderate increases in equity prices.
Central Banks: Despite firm economic growth, we believe that a negative YoY CPI through September will steady the Fed's hand.
Coupled with our expectation for global bond yields to rise moderately, we maintain our overweight view on global equities vs. bonds.
The recovery in profits by Japanese export firms should continue to attract the attention of the markets in the first half of 2015.
John Vail updates his long-standing theme: Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance.
The disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.
In a pre-GFC and pre-QE world, zero or negative interest rates on a German, Japanese or US 10-year bond would have been considered highly implausible. However...
Now that oil prices have declined, if a central bank targets its overall CPI at 2.0% for 2015, it would likely be labeled as being overly aggressive and perhaps attempting to unfairly weaken its currency.
The investment world is changing quickly and 2015 should prove to be a very interesting year, but we see no reason to change our long-held positive view on global equities.
Recently, two major voices in the "core Fed" (Fischer and Dudley) have indicated that despite low inflation, the Fed's main scenario is to begin hiking rates in mid 2015.
Our Global Investment Committee always seems to meet in the middle of great volatility, and this time was no exception, with the investment world facing all sorts of new challenges.