It goes without saying that investors in Japan should watch what the prime minister is doing. But with Yoshihide Suga now in power, it pays to follow a little more closely.
Shares in GMO Internet Inc., a tech conglomerate, jumped as much as 5.5 percent Thursday after founder and CEO Masatoshi Kumagai tweeted that he’d had dinner with Suga to discuss the prime minister’s digital reforms. Some of the GMO group’s other listed units surged by their daily limit, in expectation of its involvement in the shift to digital.
But eagle-eyed investors watching Suga’s movements could have spotted this opportunity earlier — and perhaps should more closely watch a daily press report of his movements for future trading clues.
Journalists who cover the prime minister formulate a daily report, known as “Prime Minister’s Movements,” mentioning who he met, where and for how long. This report — published by local newswires and newspapers, had noted the meeting on Tuesday evening — a full trading session before Kumagai tweeted about it. GMO Internet shares rose just 1.7 percent the following day.
Shares of GMO Internet extended gains Friday, while its cashless payment unit GMO Financial Gate Inc. surged to the limit.
“With talks of Suga’s digital agency, investor expectations for the cashless payment system maker may be rising, with hopes for positive results in the upcoming earnings season,” said Tomoaki Kawasaki, a senior analyst at Iwaicosmo Securities Co.
While these editions became somewhat dry toward the end of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historically long period in power, they may be required reading for investors as well as political wonks as Suga gets down to work. Known to be a workaholic, Suga was famous for his prolific breakfast and lunch meetings as chief Cabinet secretary to Abe, and often took two dinner appointments in the evening.
And it’s not just trading opportunities. Suga’s meeting with election-planning specialist Hiroshi Miura early in his tenure last month drove speculation of a snap election. And the report was in focus in 2017 as well, when Abe spent some nights at his official residence, rather than his usual custom of returning home. Those instances often preceded North Korea’s missile launches, indicating that Abe had intelligence about them.