TOKYO, June 10 Almost 130 institutional
investors in Japan have adopted new government guidelines on
shareholders' involvement in the firms they own which are
designed to improve corporate governance and investment returns,
the financial regulator said on Tuesday.
The Japanese Stewardship Code calls on shareholders to
disclose how they vote at annual general meetings and engage
more actively with company management, with the ultimate goal of
promoting sustainable growth in the corporate sector.
The code was compiled and announced in February as part of
the government's drive to stimulate the economy, and was
inspired by the U.K. Stewardship Code which was conceived after
the global financial crisis of 2008.
Japan's Financial Services Agency on Tuesday said 127
investors such as asset managers, trust banks, insurers and
pension funds, had committed to the code as at the end of May.
The list features about every major Japanese institutional
investor, a senior FSA official said at a briefing on Tuesday,
including the $1.26 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund
Other big names include Nomura Holdings Inc's
Nomura Asset Management Co Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings
Inc's Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd, and Nippon Life
Foreign institutions with investment in Japan that also
signed up to the code include Fourth Swedish National Pension
Fund (AP4) and Britain's Railway Pension Trustee Co Ltd.
The FSA official said Japanese company managers are not
particularly good at communicating with investors, and that
adopting the code could help improve the situation.
The FSA said it will update the list every three months.
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Christopher Cushing)