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Japanese minister to visit region

posted on 16/07/2008: 831 views

Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said he will visit the UAE, Kuwait, and Uzbekistan this week to discuss the oil market and encourage the countries to increase investment in Japan. "Expanding foreign direct investment is an important agenda item for Japan," Nukaga, who will leave to the Middle East tonight and return on July 21, said at a press conference yesterday. He added that he wants to have "aggressive" discussions to promote investment from Middle Eastern nations.

"It's meaningful to try to attract more investment from long-term investors" such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, said Susumu Kato, chief economist at Calyon Securities in Tokyo. "Boosting more investment from abroad is also good for Japan's economy." State funds, which invest in private companies, public equities and real estate, played a key role in propping up Wall Street firms stung by the US sub-prime-mortgage crisis.

The Kuwait Investment Authority and Adia were among the investors who infused US$44.1 billion (Dh162bn) into Citigroup Inc. Executives from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Nomura Asset Management and other companies will also attend the trip, Nukaga said.

Sovereign wealth funds invested US$58bn in the first quarter, more than they spent from 2000 to 2005, according to a report by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Grail Research, a unit of consulting firm Monitor Group.

Dubai International Capital, the US$13bn fund manager, bought shares in Sony Corp., the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, last year in its first investment in a Japanese company. – Emirates Business 24|7


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