Japan Stock Ownership by Foreigners Rises to Record 31.8%

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO, July 2 (Reuters) – Overseas investors owned a record 31.8% of Japanese stocks as of end-March, an industry survey showed on Tuesday, as a joint push by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and government for better corporate governance boosted the market’s allure.

The proportion rose from 30.1% a year earlier, and was the most since the Japan Exchange Group, which runs the Tokyo bourse, began conducting the survey in 1970.

While Japan has been bolstering governance for at least a decade, the effort received a big shot in the arm last year when the Tokyo Stock Exchange called on companies to improve capital efficiency.

The exchange now publishes a monthly list of firms that have voluntarily disclosed plans to improve their use of capital, effectively naming and shaming those who don’t.

Japanese stocks have also benefitted from a shift out of China, a weak currency and relatively low valuations.

The Nikkei 225 share average rallied to an all-time high of 41,087.75 on March 22, before pulling back over the following weeks.

On Tuesday, though, it recovered the psychological 40,000 mark for the first time in three months, and remains up close to 20% in calendar 2024.