News

Japanese now hold 1,000tn yen ($8.8T) worth of foreign assets

Foreign assets held by Japanese institutional and individual investors appear to have topped 1,000 trillion yen ($8.79 trillion) for the first time, according to Nikkei estimates. The amount has increased roughly 50% during the past five years and now is more than twice as much as the country's gross domestic product.

The U.S. holds more external assets than any other country, $23 trillion worth, according to the International Monetary Fund. But in terms of growth, Japan is far-outpacing the U.S. and other leading economies. U.S. foreign asset growth came in at less than 10% over the five-year span. Foreign assets held by Germany and France shrank during the same period.

Securities seem to have accounted for nearly half of the 1,000 trillion yen that has escaped overseas. Japanese investors were holding 453 trillion yen worth at the end of June, up 100 trillion yen or so over the past three years.

Japanese investors ...

Oct. 24, 2017


Metals rally needs more than China’s anti-pollution rhetoric

After years of rapid expansion that stoked tensions with China’s trading partners, Hongqiao was this year ordered to close 2.7m tonnes of annual capacity. 

The shutdowns are part of President Xi Jinping’s plans to cut excess capacity and clean up the environment after years of rapid expansion that has made China one of the most polluted countries in the world.

Environmental inspectors have been sent across the country to fine and shut down polluting plants guided by Xi’s slogan that “green mountains and clear water are equal to mountains of gold and silver”. 

Investors in the global metals market have taken Mr Xi’s ambitions to curb pollution-generating production seriously. Zinc, a metal used to galvanise steel, has climbed 22 per cent this year and is trading at its highest levels in a decade at more than $3,000 a tonne. Aluminium has advanced 25 per cent to a four-year high.

That, in turn, has helped ...

Sept. 1, 2017


Global Economies Grow in Sync

For the first time in a decade, the world's major economies are growing in sync, a result of lingering low-interest-rate stimulus from central banks and the gradual fading of crises that over years ricocheted from the U.S. to Greece, Brazil and beyond.

All 45 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are on track to grow this year, and 33 of them are poised to accelerate from a year ago, according to the OECD. It is the first time since 2007 that all are growing and the most countries in acceleration since 2010, when many nations enjoyed a fleeting snapback from the global financial crisis.

The International Monetary Fund in July projected global economic output would grow 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018, up from 3.2% growth in 2016.

In the past 50 years, simultaneous growth among all the OECD-tracked countries has been rare. In addition to happening last ...

Aug. 23, 2017


Samsung predicts highest ever profit in its history

Samsung believes that the second quarter of 2017 was the best in the company’s history. According to earnings guidance issued today, Samsung expects to have made about 14 trillion won ($12.1 billion) in profit off 60 trillion won ($52 billion) in revenue; that’s significantly beyond the previous highest profit of 10.16 trillion won set in the third quarter of 2013. Revenue is expected to be up 18 percent year on year, while profit should be up by 72 percent.

The figures follow two quarters of similarly positive results, which both saw Samsung post its biggest profit in more than three years. Samsung hasn’t offered any more details on the current quarter yet — they’ll come with the full earnings report later this month. But recently the company has said its display and components divisions are driving profit growth, and the most recent quarter likely also received a boost from the Galaxy ...

July 7, 2017


Global Spending on Robots Projected to Hit $87 Billion by 2025

The global market for robotics is growing far faster than expected and is projected to reach $87 billion by 2025, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Updating its previous estimate of $67 billion from three years ago, the management consulting firm recently revised its forecast sharply higher, mostly because of soaring consumer demand. In a new paper released today, “Gaining Robotics Advantage,” BCG projects an additional $14 billion of growth in the consumer sector to $23 billion, an increase of 156% over its earlier estimate. (See exhibit.)

“Much of the accelerated growth will come from the consumer market because of applications such as self-driving cars and devices for the home,” explains Vlad Lukic, a BCG partner and coauthor of the paper. “Projected growth in the commercial sector accounts for the rest of the adjustment—a 34% increase to 22.8 billion.”                    ...

June 21, 2017


Glencore Makes Informal Takeover Approach to Bunge

Glencore, the mining and energy giant, said Tuesday that its agriculture business had made an informal takeover approach to the commodity company Bunge Limited.

The talks are at a very early stage and may not result in a deal. If it is consummated, the transaction will make Glencore a large player in the United States market for buying and selling agriculture commodities, namely grain.

Glencore, which is based in Baar, Switzerland, said that its agriculture joint venture, Glencore Agriculture Limited, had approached Bunge “regarding a possible consensual business combination.”

Such a deal would add to the consolidation reshaping big agricultural companies. China National Chemical Corporation is closing in on a $43 billion takeover of Syngenta, the Swiss farm chemical and seed company. Dow Chemicals and DuPont, which both have big agricultural businesses, are working to close their merger. And Bayer AG, the German industrial conglomerate, is trying to complete a multibillion-dollar takeover of ...

May 23, 2017


New Japan law recognizes bitcoin as method of payment

Japan is set to begin recognizing bitcoin as a legal method of payment starting tomorrow.

The country's legislature passed a law, following months of debate, that brought bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, while also categorizing bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument.

It's a debate that began in the wake of the collapse of Mt Gox, the now-defunct bitcoin exchange that shuttered after months of growing complications and, in the end, revelations of insolvency and alleged fraud.

According to Japan's Financial Services Agency, that law goes into effect on 1st April, putting in place capital requirements for exchanges as well as cybersecurity and operational stipulations. In addition, those exchanges will also be required to conduct employee training programs and submit to annual audits.

/Source: Coindesk/

March 31, 2017


World's Biggest Pension Fund Posts Record $92 Billion Gain

Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's largest pension fund, posted a record quarterly gain of US$92 billion thanks to a rally in the country's stock market.

GPIF on Friday reported a return of 7.98% in its fiscal third quarter, which ended in December.

Its paper gain totalled 10.5 trillion yen. The fund managed 144.8 trillion yen worth of assets as of December.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei share index rallied 16% in the quarter on expectations of stronger global economic growth and as the yen weakened in the face of a surging US dollar following the election of President Donald Trump.

It edged up another 2% in January-March this year. 

/Source: The Edge Markets/

March 3, 2017


Fitch Ratings: Trump Policies Could Spark Global Economic Crisis

In a statement issued Friday, Fitch Ratings said the Trump administration “represents a risk to international economic conditions” and to the financial stability of governments around the world. While noting that some parts of Trump’s agenda would be “positive for economic growth,” the agency said Trump’s open hostility towards certain nations and trade agreements poses a risk for many countries that rely in part on the U.S. Canada would be one of the most affected countries in a Trump-fueled crisis, Fitch said, along with China, Germany, Japan and Mexico. Because national economies have become more integrated in the age of globalization, any moves the U.S. makes to limit trade with one country will have “cascading effects” touching many other countries, Fitch said. Trump’s immigration crackdown could also damage the global economy, particularly developing countries, because of “remittances” — the practice of immigrants sending money to their home countries. The flow ...

Feb. 10, 2017


China sets up US$14.6 billion internet investment fund

China has set up a 100 billion yuan (US$14.55 billion) fund to support investment in the internet sector, the official news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.

The fund, backed by China’s cabinet, is designed to help turn China into a major player in internet technology, the report said.

An initial 30 billion yuan has already been raised from major banks and telecoms firms including ICBC, China Mobile and China Unicom. Up to 150 billion yuan in credit will be available to companies that have been invested in by the fund, Xinhua said.

China said earlier this month it would invest 1.2 trillion yuan between 2016 and 2018 to develop information infrastructure.

/Source: Asia Times/

Jan. 23, 2017