A five-point catch-up on some of the ups and downs, and ins and outs, among big movers in the Tokyo stock market:
- Masayoshi Son has come to dominate Silicon Valley. Now his company is increasingly dominating Japan’s markets, with SoftBank Group rising to become the largest-weighted stock on the country’s Topix index, pulling ahead of Toyota Motor in what one analyst calls “a historic turning point.”
- “We can offer a wider range of services, such as search engine, e-commerce and online financial operations, than those provided by GAFA … with our group’s total power.” That was Z Holdings’ CEO Takeshi Idezawa’s bold claim after announcing a merger that will bring Yahoo Japan and Line together under one roof, creating a Japan tech giant.
- Shareholders are cheering the record share price of Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, which just became the most valuable apparel retailer in the world. But some other market observers are sounding notes of caution over the stock’s ever-increasing influence on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as technical changes caused by its recent highs raise its already-outsized impact.
- Japan Exchange Group has named Hiromi Yamaji, who heads its Osaka bourse unit, as the new president of the TSE operator, which has been struggling to restore investor trust following an unprecedented full-day trading suspension in October. Fujitsu Ltd. said in December that its boss would take a 50% pay cut for four months over the technical glitch that broke the TSE for a day.
- What’s not to like about ESG (environment, social and governance) investing? The TSE even has a handbook to help firms burnish their ethical cred, while Japan’s mammoth pension fund is apparently betting big on ESG. A ¥1 trillion Mizuho ESG fund, however, has triggered an industry-wide review by regulators looking into new rules to protect investors from “greenwashing.”