”Almost three years after I first proposed in these pages that Japan adopt a governance code to raise productivity, the country now not only has a Corporate Governance Code but also a Stewardship Code for institutional investors. There has since been much discussion, and even exhortation by the government, about the urgent need to change the corporate mindset, engage with investors and increase companies’ return on equity. These are all major achievements. But when it comes to increasing corporate profitability through reinvesting in the real economy, there is still much progress to be made.
Japanese companies continue to sit on a mountain of excess cash. According to Japan’s Ministry of Finance, this mountain actually grew to $1.5 trillion in 2015 from $1.4 trillion in 2011, despite substantial increases in dividends and stock buybacks. During that same period, capital expenditure shrank by more than half……….”
Read full article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/japans-pension-funds-could-help-curb-cash-hoarding-1459357728
Source: The Wall Street Journal