231. How Japan’s car manufacturers got it all wrong

Matthew Brett, manager of the Baillie Gifford Japanese fund and Baillie Gifford Japan Trust talks to us about the Japanese economy reopening and how the weak yen is impacting business. He talks about inflation finally occurring in the country and questions whether the Bank of Japan’s policy will change when the current governor’s term comes to an end. Matthew tells us that he is excited about the opportunities opening up and discusses some recent purchase and the increased gearing on the Trust. He also explains why the portfolios no longer hold car manufacturers and he wraps up by telling us that the Trust’s dividend could increase by as much as 50% this year.
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One of the oldest Japan funds in the sector, Baillie Gifford Japanese fund has delivered outstanding returns in the most difficult market conditions. The Baillie Gifford Japan Trust aims to provide capital growth by investing primarily in Japanese small and medium-sized companies, which offer exceptional growth opportunities with sustainable business models. Both are run by Matthew Brett and the well-resourced Japan team based in Edinburgh.

What’s covered in this episode:

  • Where Japan is in terms of the economy reopening
  • How inflation is a good thing in Japan
  • Whether the weak yen is damaging to the economy or a positive
  • Where the manager has been finding opportunities
  • If Nintendo is a buy or a sell
  • Why the portfolios no longer hold any car manufacturers
  • What has caused the trust’s discount to close in recent weeks
  • How the trust is growing its dividend
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