BDTI/METRICAL Joint Research Update: “CG Practice and Value Creation Linkage”

BDTI and METRICAL are continuing to collaborate on finding “linkages between CG practice and value creation.” METRICAL has recently updated the results of our analysis at the end of October 2019 for about 1,800 listed companies representing a market capitalization of more than 10 billion yen. In this update, we see that the number of […]

ASIA TIMES:”Japan Inc’s dividends go on a bull run – at last”

“Now, the moment which Japanese stock aficionados have long dreamed has arrived. Pressure on CEOs to champion shareholder value and raise returns on equity are paying off with a bull market in dividends. Even better, it may be just beginning. Those are the signals emanating from Nomura, one of Japan Inc’s most fabled investment houses. Its analyst reckons that dividends doled out by blue-chip companies grouped in Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section hit the US$133 billion mark in August. That’s more than twice what companies were shelling out in 2012. And this windfall is coming even as the global trade war crimps growth and economists warn of a rocky 2020. This raises two pivotal questions. First, can the dividend surge continue? Second, what’s the catch?”

Full article :”Japan Inc’s dividends go on a bull run – at last”

Goldman Sachs:”The Case for Investing in Japan”

“Despite Japan’s aging population and mounting public debt, the country offers a host of investment opportunities, according to Katie Koch, co-head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s (GSAM) Fundamental Equity business. Koch recently returned from GSAM’s annual Investor Tour, held this year in Tokyo and Kyoto, where the team hosted 20 CEOs, CIOs and heads of equity from large global institutions along with Japanese policy makers, government officials and C-suite executives….”

RIETI: International Seminar on “Governance Reforms from Comparative Perspectives”

“Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS) will conduct a 3-day international seminar with Said Business School, University of Oxford, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS) and University of British Columbia (UBC) by Core-to-Core Program of JSPS. A 3-session symposium for invitees will be held on the first day, while the second and third day will be roundtable discussion on the evolving diversity of corporate governance in Europe and emerging countries in Asia. The purposes of this seminar are to wrap up the past research activities and to explore new issues to be challenged….”

Letter to MOF Japan on FEFTA Bill by ACGA

ACGA submitted a letter to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Japan to express their deep concerns about the direction and substance of recently proposed amendments to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (FEFTA). They said “If passed, this would cut the threshold for mandatory pre-reporting of foreign investments in restricted sectors from 10% […]

September 12th “Director Boot Camp” – Another Successful Program! Next Course: November 13th, 2019!

On September 13th, BDTI held its English Director Boot Camp , attended by a number of highly experienced participants. Participants from various companies heard lectures about corporate governance by Nicholas Benes and Andrew Silberman of AMT, and exchanged experiences and opinions at a spacious, comfortable room kindly donated for our use by Cosmo Public Relations, a leading communications and PR firm in Tokyo.

TIIP:”Sustainable Investing in Japan: An Agenda for Action”

Executive Summary

More than a quarter of assets under management (AUM) worldwide are invested in “sustainable” strategies, strategies that consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in pursuit of financial sustainability and/or environmental or social sustainability. Investors – both individual and institutional and at all wealth levels – are increasingly interested in integrating these strategies into their financial plans and investment portfolios, and asset managers and global financial institutions are embracing the approach and expanding related services and product offerings.

Interest in sustainable investing and sustainably invested AUM are growing rapidly in Japan. But despite this enthusiasm and growth, few mainstream investors, financial advisors, and investment consultants in Japan are embracing the practice.

Taking a Horse to Water – Prospects for the Japanese Corporate Governance Code

This paper was originally published by Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht (Journal of Japanese Law) in its 2019 Spring edition (Vol.24). It is reproduced here by kind permission of the Executive Editors.

SUMMARY

“In 2014–2015 Japan implemented a series of reforms to its corporate governance regime. The principal measures adopted were the country’s first Corporate Governance Code, revisions to its Companies Law, and a Stewardship Code, together with a report (the Itō Review) on corporate competitiveness and incentives for growth. In this paper we analyse the objectives of these reforms and make an assessment of their likely success.

Japanese Institutional Investors Need to Take Their Own ESG Medicine

Does anyone have any theories as to why institutional investors that support director training in Japan are overwhelmingly foreign, and not Japanese?

The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI) was established as a “public interest” nonprofit in order to enable Japanese institutional investors to support something badly needed by their home market, director and governance training, on a tax-deductible basis…. so that such training could be offered at high quality yet low price, thereby spreading customs of governance/director training throughout Japan. However, after running BDTI for eight years since obtaining certification, we have noticed a disturbing but continuing reality: over time, more than 95% of BDTI’s donations from institutional investors have come from foreign institutions or fund managers, and less than 5% of donations to BDTI have come from Japanese institutions. Moreover, none of the Japanese institutional donors are “major” (top 30) investing institutions in Japan.