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Hot Topix from Jupiter

Jupiter Asset Management has established the Jupiter Japan Income fund, a unit trust that will aim for income and growth by investing in Japanese equities.

The fund is targeting a yield of around 30 per cent above the Topix index yield,. This is likely to be around 2 per cent in the first year. As well as investing in Japanese companies, it can also invest in companies listed elsewhere that derive a large part of their business from Japan.

The fund will be managed by Simon Somerville who joined Jupiter in January 2005. Prior to that he was a director, partner and fund manager at Cazenove Fund Management where he spent 14 years. He has managed Jupiters Far Eastern Fund since February 2005.

Somerville believes now is a good time for this fund because Japan is at the beginning of a sustainable recovery underpinned by the reforms of Prime Minister Koizumi rather than exports.

Koizumi is now at the start of a third time in power following an election which was called in response to his failure to privatise the Japanese postal service. Jupiter regards his landslide election victory as easing the way for further reform

Reform has already benefited Japanese companies, which have reduced their debt, increased profits and are in a better position to make dividend payments to shareholders. Valuations are also relatively low, providing investors with good opportunities. Other positive factors include increasing employment levels and high consumer confidence.

However, a possible slowdown in Japan’s two major export markets, China and the US, could have a negative effect over the long term. Some IFAs may feel the UK is a better bet for income, especially those who have seen expectations of a Japanese recovery come and go over the last decade.


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