Market Overview

Japan-Focused Funds Show Divergent Performance

Japan-Focused Funds Show Divergent Performance

Japanese stocks have had a wild couple of weeks since the Bank of Japan made a surprise announcement that it would boost bond buying in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Funds with a Japan focus have not moved in the same direction over the past year.

T. Rowe Price Japan Fund

The T. Rowe Price Japan Fund (MUTF: PRJPX) invests in companies located in Japan, and its objective is long-term growth. It seeks to invest at least 80 percent of net assets in Japanese firms. There are no restrictions on the companies' market cap, nor on the industry and sector of investments.

The fund has a one-year loss of 0.6 percent, at time of writing. Its expense ratio is 1.06 percent, and its assets total $309.6 million. Its Net Asset Value is $9.66. Top holdings include the Tokyo-listed shares of Toyota Motor Corp (ADR)(NYSE: TM), Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC), Softbank Corp. (Japan) (OTC: SFTBY) and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (ADR) (NYSE: NTT).

Related Link: Japan Stimulus Boosts ETFs

Matthews Japan Fund Investor Class

A larger Japan-focused fund is the Matthews Japan Fund Investor Class (MUTF: MJFOX), with total assets of $ 683.3 million. Its Net Asset Value is $16.07, and its expense ratio is 1.10 percent.

This fund has a one-year gain of 1.95 percent at time of writing.

The fund's mandate is to invest at least 80 percent of its net assets in companies headquartered or doing business in Japan. Most of its investments fall into the mid- and large-cap categories, but it can invest in companies of all sizes.

Top holdings include Tokyo-listed shares of Toyota, Orix Corporation (ADR) (NYSE: IX), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE: MTU), Sysmex Corp., Daikin Industries Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (ADR)(NYSE: SMFG).

The fund management firm, Matthews, is the largest Asia-focused investment company in the United States, with $28 billion in assets under management.

In October, the Japan Fund of Nomura Partners Funds merged with the Matthews Japan Fund, and all its assets were transferred over; Shareholders in the Nomura Fund became Matthews Japan Fund shareholders.

Image credit: By Okajun via Wikimedia Commons


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