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Japan will enjoy a 10-day holiday this week, as its annual ‘Golden Week’ celebration combines with the first abdication of an Emperor in two hundred years.
Golden Week is a series of four national holidays that usually take place during one week between the end of April to the beginning of May each year.
This year, Emperor Akihito is scheduled to abdicate on 30 April and his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will be crowned the new Emperor on 1 May.
As a result, 30 April, 1 May and 2 May also become national holidays, creating a consecutive 10-day holiday. Japanese stock exchanges will be closed from 26 April 2019, reopening on 7 May 2019, and there will be a temporary suspension of trading in Japanese funds during this period.
The new era for Japan under the new Emperor has been named “Riewa” by prime minister Shinzo Abe, a man credited with breathing new life into the Japanese economy.
His “Abenomics”, which refers to his economic policies since 2012, were designed to break the 20-year deflationary cycle and have gained much traction.
But despite being the world’s second largest stock market, accounting for 7.2% of the MSCI AC World Index*, Japan it is under-owned by UK retail equity investors: just 2% of portfolios are allocated to funds investing in the country**.
It is a region currently liked by FundCalibre’s research team, as valuations of the country’s companies are still relatively good value when compared with other stock markets.
*Source: MSCI, March 2019
**Source: Edison, 23 April 2019