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One in five publicly traded companies hands out gifts to shareholders, mainly in the form of its own goods and services, according to a Daiwa Securities Co. survey.

A total of 632 companies, or 18 percent of all firms with shares traded on stock exchanges or the JASDAQ over-the-counter market, reported gifting shareholders as an incentive to hold onto shares long term.

That number is an increase on the 247 firms that reported giving gifts in 1992, when Daiwa Securities first held the survey.

The gifts include free passes and discount fare coupons for flights or train services, free tickets to movies and other entertainment, and discount coupons for shopping centers and restaurants.

Banks such as Aichi Bank, Hiroshima-Sogo Bank and Kagawa Bank offer premium interest rates on time deposits for bigger shareholders.

Construction companies such as Suruga Corp. and SXL Corp. give discounts on services such as house construction or renovations.

Some companies, whose own products don’t make appropriate gifts, take a more creative approach. Techno Quartz Inc., a maker of components for use in semiconductor-making equipment, sends shareholders boxes of premium cherries from Yamagata Prefecture, where the company is based.

Kitz Corp., a maker of sophisticated valves for use in industrial machinery, appeals to the more artistically aware investor. It has gifted shareholders with tickets for an affiliated museum featuring the art nouveau glass work of 19th century French artist Emile Galle.

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