Nomura Asset Management Co. began operations Thursday of a mutual fund investing in companies that benefit from spending by Chinese tourists in Japan.
The fund will buy shares in consumer-related stocks, including department stores, cosmetics producers and electronic products, said Satoshi Tsuji, senior marketing executive of Nomura Asset. The company, a unit of Nomura Holdings Inc., expects the number of Chinese tourists to rise following the relaxation of visa requirements for the country’s citizens on July 1.
“Spending by Chinese tourists has risen along with an increase in the number of Chinese tourists,” Tsuji said. “The theme gives investors anther view of Japanese stocks.”
The Japan National Tourism Organization said 704,500 Chinese tourists visited Japan from January through June. That then rose by 59 percent to 165,100 in July compared with the previous month. In August, Japan received 171,800 Chinese tourists, the highest on record.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Japan aims to lure 25 million tourists by 2020. It estimates tourism will boost the economy by about ¥10 trillion.
While the relaxation of visa requirements increases the number of tourists from China, it may also lower average spending since it brings people in from a wider range of income classes, Chiwoong Lee, senior economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., wrote in a report dated July 5.
He estimated Chinese tourists spend an average of ¥250,000 each and that total spending may expand by about ¥51 billion based on the assumption that the number of Chinese tourists will double and the spending will decline 75 percent from the current average.
Diplomatic problems between China and Japan haven’t hurt the marketing of the new fund, Kaori Taguchi, a spokeswoman for Nomura Holdings, said.
“We have not heard any clients saying they would not buy the fund because of deteriorated relations between Japan and China,” Taguchi said.
Yuka Sasaki, assistant manager of the corporate planning department at Nomura Asset, said by e-mail that the fund has gathered about ¥4.4 billion.
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