Japan turning around?

Two unrelated news pieces from Business Week today caught my eye:
Japan Is Best Investment Idea for 2010, Wien Says

Japanese stocks may be the best bet among the world’s biggest markets in 2010 as the economy improves, according to Blackstone Group LP’s Byron Wien.
The Topix Index, which posted the lowest return among benchmark guagues in the 20 largest stock markets in 2009, has risen the most this year, gaining 4.1 percent. Companies are projected to turn profitable in 2010 after producing a combined loss of 40 yen per share in the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“I would definitely start buying now,” Wien, 76, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services and the former chief market strategist for hedge fund Pequot Capital Management Inc., told Bloomberg Radio. “Everybody who could sell Japan has sold Japan. Everybody is on one side of the boat. My view is that we have a pretty good chance of having this one be the best of the major industrialized markets. It’s not a boom, but things are getting better.”

Then in a separate piece:
Ex-Morgan Stanley Trader Feldschuh Starting Japan Hedge Fund

Traders are opening funds after the industry posted its best returns in a decade last year, gaining 20 percent, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. Assets may rise to $1.75 trillion by the end of 2010, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.

Aristarc will invest in stocks using a market-neutral strategy that bets on, and against, companies in the same industry. Feldschuh’s strategy at FrontPoint returned 14 percent in 2008 and 19 percent in 2007, according to the marketing materials.

Let’s hope the Nikkei turns around this year. NO DOUBLE DIP!

One comment on “Japan turning around?
  1. Ah, I couldn’t help but comment on this. Wien’s annual “List of Surprises” are, as all strategists, a very mixed bag. But you only hear about the ones that worked. Every year, he says the Renmimbi will be revalued. Every years he’s wrong. He’s bullish on gold and oil every year. His last call on Japan at the beginning of 2007 was:
    “Economic conditions in Japan continue to improve. After being one of the worst equity markets in a developed country during 2006, the Nikkei 225 rises 15%.” In fact, the Nikkei fell 11% and GDP growth stalled. Gulp.
    And Feldschuh is market-neutral quant, doesn’t care where the market goes… 🙂