Travel Diary: Made in Japan

Articles | 7 March 2017

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Japan is open to improving corporate governance. Since my last trip to Japan, there was noticeable change in engagement with investors, including discussions on diversity – particularly women in the boardroom – and incentives linked to financial performance.

Japan is starting to deliver some volume expansion. Port volumes turned positive for the first time in two years. Rail and airport volumes are robust and will receive a boost from the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics. Sentiment is lifting and domestic companies are expanding their operations. Identifying mispricing across the globe is one of the advantages of sector coverage within our team. 

Japanese gas utilities remain unloved with low expectations reflecting impending market deregulation – risks are to the upside. In contrast, the Chinese gas utilities are still a consensus buy and the risk of regulatory intervention is being downplayed.

In April 2013 I wrote a travel diary entitled “Japan: can userfriendly become shareholder-friendly?” Last week I got to revisit this idea and see what had changed.

View Jessica's full travel diary