Tokyo – Tuesday 23 February 2016: CLSA Limited (CLSA), Asia’s leading and longest-running independent brokerage and investment group today opens the 13th annual CLSA Japan Forum in Tokyo. Representing more than a trillion dollars’ worth of market capitalisation, the four-day event hosts more than 650 global investors from 23 countries, 600 senior executives from over 170 Japanese corporations and more than 50 keynote and specialist speakers.
The 13th CLSA Japan Forum opens amidst uncertainty in the Japan economy, a volatile stock market and negative interest rates. CLSA Japan Country Head Meade Thomson says: “The market is behaving like we are already in a recession. The effectiveness of charging a penalty rate on banks’ excess reserves is very much in doubt as the yen remains strong and equity markets volatile. It seems a distant dream for the nation to achieve its 2% inflation target.”
CLSA’s Japan Strategist Nicholas Smith says valuations for many sectors have rarely been lower and PMIs are consistent with global trade growth which proposes rising, not falling, profits. “Profits of Japanese companies are surprisingly yen-invariant. History has proven strong corporate profits have gone with a strong yen, through at least six earning cycles, and as such there is undeniably value in Japanese equities in the long-run. “
Since its inception in 2004, the annual CLSA Japan Forum has become a must-attend event for global institutional investors to have direct access to key decision-makers in Japan and opinion leaders worldwide.
Foreign investors attending the CLSA Japan Forum have access to more than 80 presentations over the four-day event on topics including finance and strategy; reform, politics and geopolitics; consumer, healthcare and real estate; clean disruption and technology; and commodities and transportation. They will also gain greater insights into the Abe administration, the Bank of Japan, and corporate governance issues in Japan.
The Forum has a strong focus on clean disruption and technology, with Henrik Christensen, Director, KUKA Chair of Robotics, Georgia Institute of Technology discussing the rise of robotics and the industry’s business drivers; Rahat Ahmed, Co-founder and Chief of Strategy, Trinity VR speaks on virtual reality and provides a live demonstration; Tony Seba, Lecturer at Stanford University, discusses cleantech disruption evolution and what transformational impact it has on conventional transport and energy sectors; and Brad Templeton explains how self-driving cars can change the world and disrupt dozens of industries.
Corporate Governance (CG) reform has made a great start since Japan’s introduction of a CG code last year, but where will it go from here? For the second consecutive year, a Corporate Governance panel will review and discuss Japan’s recent CG policies, as responsible investing becomes increasingly important to global fund managers. Panel speakers include Yoshikazu Maeda, Head of Responsible Investment, Governance for Owners Japan; James Hawrylak, Executive Director, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Akitsugu Era, Head of Corporate Governance Japan, BlackRock Japan.
On the commodities front, oil specialist Fereidun Fesharaki examines the current turmoil in the oil & gas industry, while Mitsuro Izumo speaks on the commercialisation of algae to oil as an alternative energy. As ever, investment guru Marc Faber will close the Forum with his particular take on the state of the world.