A change for the better in Japan Inc

In post-World War II Japan, firms have been “unabashedly employee-centric rather than shareholder-centric”, says JC de Swaan in The Wall Street Journal.

Japanese firms tend to hoard cash and don’t make their shareholders’ money work hard enough. Return on equity (ROE), a gauge of profitability that measures net income as a percentage of shareholders’ equity, is around half global levels in Japan.

In the past, managers have shrugged off pressure from institutional investors to boost ROE by handing back surplus cash in the form of dividends and share buybacks. But things are starting to change.

Last year, a [...]

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
Don't be spooked by Putin

Take a punt on eastern Europe

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues
Shale gas 'fracking' promises to transform Britain's energy market. Find out what it is, what it means, and how to invest.

Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.