TOKYO May 9 Nikko Asset Management, Japan's
third-largest fund manager, said it has halted subscriptions of
its Nikko Small and Middle Capitalisation Growth fund from
Thursday after the size of assets under management approached
the limit of 55 billion yen ($556.57 million).
The move underscores growing interest from cash-rich
Japanese retail investors to invest in domestic equity funds
after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy of aggressive monetary
easing and reflationary policies, dubbed "Abenomics", boosted
domestic shares and pushed down the value of the yen.
The fund generated an investment gain of 105.40 percent over
the past year to April 30, although it has produced a negative
return of 9.44 percent since inception in November 2005.
The fund's top three shareholdings include offshore drilling
contractor Japan Drilling, medical equipment maker
Medinet Co Ltd and apparel maker United Arrows Ltd
Japanese equities funds have been in demand over the last
few months due to sharp gains in domestic share prices since
mid-November. The Nikkei share average has surged nearly
70 percent and the yen has dropped about 25 percent since
mid-November when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his plans
to fight deflation.
In April, JP Morgan Asset Management halted new
subscriptions to its Japanese equity mutual fund called "JPM The
Japan" fund because it was nearing its limit of 200 billion yen.
Net inflows into Japanese equity funds totalled 423.8
billion yen in April, the fourth consecutive month of net
inflows in the asset class, according to Nomura Research
($1 = 98.8200 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo)