June 25, 2013

Nippon Mirai Has Divested Aquaintec to Nihon-Kaisui

Nippon Mirai Capital has agreed to sell 100% of the oustanding shares of Aquaintec Corp, formerly Asahi Tech Environmental Solutions Corp, to Nihon-Kasisui Co., a subsidiary of Air Water Inc., on July 1st. Aquaintec specializes in water utility renovations, whereas Nihon-Kaisui, meaning Japan sea water, has been developing water treatment and soil cleansing business based on its expertise accumulated through salt production from sea water.

Nippon Mirai had bought 100% of Aquaintec reportedly for JPY 2.4 billion in November 2010.

Air Water Inc., the parent company of Nihon-Kaisui, has been actively acquiring PE portfolio companies. In addition to Aquaintec, it purchased Nihon-Kaisui from Advantage Partners in 2007 and Goldpak, soft-drink producer, from i-Sigma Capital in 2012.

June 24, 2013

90% Of Corporate Heads See Japanese Economy Growing, 80% See Consumption Picking Up

According to a Nikkei survey, which was conducted June 5-21, "a total of 90.5% of the heads of 148 major Japanese companies say the economy is growing, far more than the 68.2% recorded in March", and "those who thought personal consumption had picked up from six months earlier or was starting to pick up stood at 80.4%, a sharp climb from 51.4% in the previous survey. Looking to the future, roughly 80% said both personal consumption and the economy would be improved or showing signs of improvement three months later."The 90.5% figure "even topped the 79.3% logged in October 2007, before the eruption of the global financial crisis."

"A total of 5.4% of the respondents said the economy was growing smoothly, while 85.1% said it was expanding, but slowly. Those who felt it was leveling off shrank to 9.5% from the previous 31.1%. No one said the economy was weakening."

"Although the stock market saw a series of volatile swings and the yen moved back to a strengthening trend while the survey was being conducted, the corporate chiefs were overwhelmingly optimistic."

"When asked about their investment plans, most executives said they wanted to invest for growth, with 62.2% specifying capital investment, 42.6% M&As and 35.1% R&D. Only 31.8% said they wanted to spend money on restoring their financial standing, such as by reducing their debt."

June 21, 2013

CLSA's 2nd Japan Fund Buys A Car Auction Company

CLSA has purchased all outstanding shares of BCN, a Saitama-based B2B car auction site operator, from its parent, Chubu Motor Sales Co. BCN acts as a dealing platform between professional sellers and buyers, both are registered members of BCN and pay commissions to BCN. It conducts 130,000 auctions per year, of which 63% are sold.

CLSA's second Japan fund, Sunrise Capital II is currently under fund raising and the transaction marks its first investments after the first close. 

June 04, 2013

Newly-Setup Government Panel To Reform Investment Allocation Policy Of Public Pensions, Agencies and Universities

According to Nikkei, the government plans to retool investment strategies for the roughly JPY 200 trillion (USD 2 trillion) in assets held by 190 public institutions, including USD 1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund,  three mutual aid organizations as well as 100 independent administrative agencies and national public universities, by the end of fiscal 2015 in a shift away from the current emphasis on bonds. This would mark the government's first across-the-board review of public pensions' asset management practices, taking into consideration the size and characteristics of each entity.

A panel of experts, to be launched as early as this month under the Cabinet Secretariat, will compile recommendations this fall. The plans will be presented tomorrow as a growth strategy pillar.

The panel of experts will discuss such changes as raising GPIF's stock weighting, as well as expanding holdings to include real estate investment trusts, commodities futures and unlisted shares. GPIF draws down around 4-6 trillion yen annually from reserves to cover growing pension benefit payouts, adding pressure on it to boost investment performance.The government will also consider other changes, such as adding more investment specialists at GPIF, which now has about 70 staff members.