The value of Japanese trust funds aimed at retail investors rebounded 18 percent in 2009 as global share prices and economies recovered from the previous year’s financial crisis, an industry group announced recently.
Japanese individuals, who hold $15trn in savings – with much of that parked in low-yielding accounts – shifted some of their savings into overseas and emerging market funds to diversify their portfolios and get higher returns.
The value of retail investment trust funds, or toushin, totaled $674.2bn in 2009, up 17.7 percent from a year earlier, the Investment Trusts Association of Japan said.
Net fund inflows by retail investors in 2009 grew by more than four times to three trillion yen from 686bn yen a year earlier. The market has seen net inflows for six consecutive years, the association said.
“An overall recovery in markets after the crisis helped lift the value. In addition, asset management companies launched many attractive products to match preferences of investors,” Fumio Inui, the association’s vice president, told a news conference.
The appetite for riskier assets returned especially after the launch of Nomura Asset Management’s currency selection-type US junk bond funds in January 2009, which drew solid demand as investors saw it as a bargain-hunting opportunity.
On a monthly basis, the overall value of toushin in December rose 5.6 percent from the previous month to 61.3trn yen due to sharp gains share prices and falls in the yen.