By Nishant Kumar and Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, March 20 Government policies to help
kickstart Japan's economy and tackle long-term deflation are
creating hope for the country for the first time in 20 years,
BlackRock Inc's Chairman and Chief Executive Laurence
Fink said on Wednesday.
"The situation in Japan has changed. I am one of those who
believe what Japan is doing, it might be on the right path,"
said Fink, who heads the world's largest asset manager, at the
annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index has rallied
nearly 44 percent since mid-November on the back of Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe's aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion
campaign to revive the world's third biggest economy.
The policies known as "Abenomics" have sparked a fall in the
yen, making major exporters like Toyota Motor Corp more
competitive. Toyota shares have leapt about 60 percent since
Top executives at Japanese companies are "pretty excited"
about having opportunities to grow for the first time in a long
time, Fink said.
"For the first time in many years they are going to be able
to spend more money in research again," Fink said. "For me, this
might be the first time in a long time when Japan can reboot
Japan's decline over the last two decades has largely
benefited South Korean companies, he said, after asking the
audience how many people used Sony Corp. products now
compared to years ago.
Fink has headed New York-based BlackRock since it was
founded as a fixed-income oriented shop in 1988. Through a
series of acquisitions and strong asset growth, he has helped
build the firm into an industry titan with assets under
management of around $3.8 trillion.