• Kyodo News


An investment fund established by Yoshiaki Murakami is expected to disband soon, ending its seven-year history as its founder awaits trial for insider trading, sources said Tuesday.

In a recent letter to an acquaintance, Murakami said the fund has almost finished selling its shareholdings in response to a rush of contract cancellations from investors after his arrest, the sources said.

The letter effectively expressed Murakami’s intention to disband the fund in the near future, they said.

A Murakami fund executive said the fund’s operations are decided by an investment company set up in Singapore in March.

“This is not a matter to be determined by Murakami,” the executive said.

Murakami established the fund in 1999 shortly after quitting the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the predecessor of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

His fund’s assets had swelled to more than 400 billion yen before the arrest, which occurred as the firm was attempting to buy shares in Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc., Hanshin Electric Railway Co. and other companies.

In the letter, Murakami said he will fight the charges against him in court, the sources said.

Murakami was arrested in June for alleged insider trading. He was indicted later that month along with MAC Asset Management Inc., the core unit of the Murakami fund.

Murakami initially owned up to most of the charges but later changed his stance.

After Murakami was arrested, Bank of Japan Gov. Toshihiko Fukui came under fire over his 10 million yen investment in the fund made in 1999 before he took his current post.

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