Major banks and brokerages are holding seminars on finance and giving priority to sales of investment trusts aimed at women, who are apparently showing an increasing interest in the world of investing.

According to a survey by Nomura Securities Co., men are more interested in shares and foreign exchange than women are, but women have a stronger consciousness to steadily manage their own money than men, an indication that women are beginning to take investment more seriously.

In late February, the Resona financial group began selling “Love Me,” an investment trust only for women that features less risk and a monthly dividend.

The trust is based on mainly foreign stocks, but includes shares of food and underwear manufacturers highly recognized among women.

The trust even has a concept, according to Eiji Hosoya, chairman of Resona Holdings Inc. He said the concept is: “to improve myself by getting and studying.”

On Christmas Day each year, the company will give customers tickets for beauty-treatment clinics, hot spring resorts and correspondence courses on finance, depending on the degree each woman is invested.

“We hope the trust will become a starting point for getting familiar with financial commodities for young women, who don’t hesitate to buy expensive top-brand articles,” said Yoko Muto, an official at the market strategy division of Resona Bank.

Major securities companies are starting to hold more women-only finance seminars because the number of women who wish to begin investing and study foreign exchange and economics is sharply increasing.

In conjunction with stock exchanges across the country, Nikko Cordial Securities Inc. is holding seminars at night so women can drop in on their way home from work. “Interest is especially high among working women in their 30s and 40s,” said a Nikko official.

In November, Nomura created the “woman financial planning section,” which is made up of five female employees.

The company held 20 women-only seminars in 2003, but will be holding more than 100 such seminars at its 13 branches throughout the country this year.

“As there are only women, they can get in touch with financial information in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Yoko Nishide, acting chief at the section.

At seminars, female lecturers give easy-to-understand talks on basic knowledge about long-term plans to build up financial assets, and shares and bonds.

“We would like to explain the financial framework in a way to women who give priority to safety and are sensitive to daily money management,” Nishide said.

Takashi Kambe, president of FR Associates & Consulting Co., said: “The consciousness of working women and housewives has been changing from saving money to managing it. At the same time, financial institutions have changed their posture to respond to the needs of customers.”

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