JAPANESE STOCKS: A Guide for the Intelligent Inves by Toru Matsumoto

JAPANESE STOCKS: A Guide for the Intelligent Inves

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Japan has earned another sobriquet: the land of the rising stocks. At last count, its securities markets accounted for over 40% of the world's publicly traded equity. Moreover, the Tokyo Stock Exchange's widely followed Nikkei 225 average is in the seventh year of a sustained advance that has pushed quotes to iffy heights. In the face of bids that strike many knowledgeable Westerners as owing more to the spirit of Zen than to the logic of value. Matsumoto weighs in with an enthusiast's guide to the TSE and its satellites. While the author (publisher of an advisory service called Daily Investing) provides basic information on Japan's capital markets, he glosses over or ignores some important truths. As a practical matter, the TSE is like its US counterpart of 60 years ago, with a surfeit of buying pools, insider trading, and other forms of manipulation. In addition, Japanese markets are dominated by just four brokerage houses, which can perform feats of levitation beyond the ken or capacity of their opposite numbers on Wall Street. The floating supply of shares is also skimpy in the extreme, thanks mainly to the fact that Japanese corporations own sizable stakes in one another to cement business relationships and to fend off outsiders; given recent changes in tax law, then, increasing amounts of money are chasing relatively small blocks of equity. Matsumoto touches on these and allied aspects of Japan's chummy stock market. He also touts a number of individual industries and issues, predicting that the bull run will last well into 1992. Perhaps so, but the risks of a long-overdue correction would seem to outweigh whatever residual rewards might be available to gaijin investors. The author's sketchy, upbeat briefings afford the uninitiated a woefully inadequate introduction to playing the market in Japan.

ISBN: 87011-892-7
Publisher: HarperCollins
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