70% of retail investors bullish on Japanese stock

A large number of Japanese retail investors find the current level of the stock market attractive and are considering steering money into Japanese equities, a Reuters-Multex online poll showed on Wednesday.

In the poll of 916 individual investors, taken between September 13 and 16, 76.4 percent of respondents said they are considering putting money or stepping up investments in Japanese equities. Some 10.4 percent of respondents said they are planning to boost investments in equity investment trusts.

The poll indicates a growing interest among retail investors for stocks following the plunge in the Tokyo stock market to 19-year lows earlier this month. The survey also found that those who say they have already made investments in equities in the past month totalled 64.5 percent.

When asked about their investment policies, 25.2 percent said now is the best time to bet as they think the Tokyo equities market has sagged to too low a level. Another 47.8 percent said they would actively make investments if they see good investment opportunities. On the other hand, those who predicted a further slide in share prices and said would stay away from equities amounted to 21.9 percent.

Many said, however, the new stock tax system to be introduced from next January is too complicated, and called on the government to simplify the system. Some said they would refrain from investments until amendments are made.

Foreign-currency denominated deposits also emerged as popular investment portfolio among retail investors. Some 20.6 percent of respondents said they would invest in foreign-currency denominated deposits, compared with 6.2 percent who have actually made the investments in the past month.

Those who is considering buying foreign equities accounted for 12.2 percent, a sharp increase from the 2.2 percent who have actually bought in the past month.

The survey was conducted through Multex Investor Japan, a joint venture between Reuters and Toyo Keizai Inc. Half of the respondents said they have earmarked 10 million yen ($81,910) to 30 million yen as investment funds.

The table indicates the percentage of respondents who said they are considering putting money or raising investments in the following portfolios. The number in brackets show the percentage of respondents who said they have actually bought such portfolios in the past month.

Portfolio Respondents (%)
Domestic equities 76.4 (64.5)
Foreign equities 12.2 (2.4)
Japanese Government Bonds 2.6 ( 0.3)
Domestic bonds 3.1 ( 1.2)
Foreign bonds 5.5 ( 1.7)
Equity investment trusts 10.4 ( 6.4)
Bond investment trusts 3.5 ( 1.9)
Exchange-traded funds 6.6 ( 2.7)
Real-estate investment funds 6.3 ( 1.0)
Gold 7.4 ( 3.4)
Foreign currency denominated deposits 20.6 ( 6.2)
Others 3.3 ( 2.1)

(source: Reuters)

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