METRICAL:S (Social) in ESG

Recently, awareness of ESG (or SDGDs) is spreading among the society and stakeholders surrounding companies. There are more and more opportunities for companies to introduce their ESG initiatives in analyst meetings, CSR reports, and integrated reports. It is a good thing to deepen the understanding among society and all parties concerned. More and more listed companies are giving presentations on their ESG initiatives at analyst meetings to explain their financial results, following their financial reports and outlooks. In this context, I have some questions. One of them is that not a few companies are focusing on BCP (Business Continuity Plan) as their G (Governance) initiative. Secondly, as part of their S (Social) initiatives, they are focusing on social contribution activities. This time, I would like to discuss the latter S.

It seems that there are many listed companies that feel that S (Social) is somewhat obscure when they come into contact with the ESG reports of companies on a daily basis. As mentioned above, we often see cases where companies introduce their social contribution activities or efforts to improve the working environment (e.g., work-life balance, childcare and family leave programs) as examples of their S initiatives. Of course, such individual efforts are included in the S (Social) category, but I feel that for the sustainable growth of companies, we should pay more attention to the improvement of the social environment from a broader perspective. Companies are engaged in corporate activities in a society where people are related to each other in various positions. In order to promote the smooth operation and sustainable growth of corporate activities in such a society, I think it would be a good idea to communicate that the company is managing its business from the standpoint of respecting human rights from a broad perspective.

Some companies that have taken the lead in ESG initiatives are now expressing their basic stance on human rights. I think it is easier for many people to understand if they follow this basic approach to human rights and refer to individual initiatives. Many of the companies that take this approach are large companies with global operations. This is probably because they understand that understanding and respecting diversity and people’s rights is essential for conducting business, and that this will reduce business risks. However, many Japanese companies don’t take this approach and express their views on “human rights”, but only describe individual initiatives such as those mentioned above in their reports.

METRICAL:CG Stock Performance June 2021

As in the previous month, June stock market continued directionless trading and closed slightly higher in thin trading. The CG Top 20 significantly outperformed both the Topix and JPX400 indices.

Despite a temporary decline in the second half of the month, the stock prices continued to lack a sense of direction due to low trading volume and lack of material to take hold of throughout the month.
The Topix and JPX400 indices rose 1.17% and 0.82%, respectively, during the month of June, while the top 20 CG rating score stocks outperformed for the third consecutive month at 3.50%.
The CGTop 20 stocks composites will be reviewed at the end of June each year, and their performance will be measured using the new components from July 1.

METRICAL:CG Stock Performance (Japan): May 2021

May stock market continued directionless trading after an upturn at the beginning of the month. CG Top 20 stocks outperformed against both the Topix and JPX400 indices.

Stock prices opened higher at the beginning of the month on the back of lower US interest rates led by lower-than-expected US employment data, but subsequently kept directionless trading. Topix and JPX400 indices gained 1.42% and 1.78%, respectively, during the month of May. The CG Top 20 stocks outperformed for the second consecutive month with a 2.17% gain.

METRICAL: The First Step in Board Diversity

We have long considered the number of female directors as one of the key factors in board practices to measure how a company is willing to change, and according to the BDTI survey (3,622 companies as of March 26, 2021), the percentage of female directors on boards has improved significantly from 1.4% in 2016 but still only accounts for 6% of the total (see chart below).

Metrical’s survey of the universe companies, mainly those listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange 1st section, also shows how few female directors there are (see chart below). Of the 1,729 listed companies in the universe, 643 (37.2% of all universe companies) have no female directors, 676 (39.1%) have one female director, and only 410 (23.7%) have two or more female directors.

Metrical: CG Stock Performance: April 2021

Stock markets ended the month of April in a downtrend, mainly due to concerns about the spread of a COVID-19 infection. The performance of the CG Top 20 stocks over the month outperformed the Topix and JPX400, limiting the decline. In April, the stock market closed lower as traders took stock of their positions before […]

METRICAL:CG Stock Performance: February 2021

February stocks edged lower with a sharp decline. CG Top 20 stocks underperformed Topix and JPX400 during the month.

In February, the stock market immediately made up for the plunge at the end of the previous month, with the Nikkei 225 index getting off to a strong start, reaching the 30,000-yen level for the first time in 30 years. However, the stocks edged lower with a sharp decline on the last day of the month, due to a plunge in U.S. stocks, especially technology stocks, on concerns about rising U.S. Treasury yields.
CG Top 20 CG rose 1.61% during the month, while Topix and JPX400 indices gained 3.17% and 2.91%, respectively. Cumulative performance of CG Top 20 Stocks continued to outperform significantly as shown in the chart below.

METRICAL: CG Stock Performance (Japan): January 2021

January stock prices edged lower after surging in the middle of the month. CG Top 20 stocks underperformed against Topix and JPX400 during the 1-month period

The stock market opened higher in January on the back of the stocks rally at the end of the previous month. After that, the market surged on the expectation of solid corporate profits and the observation of continued global monetary easing, but closed sharply lower due to the increased volatility and sharp decline in the US stocks at the end of the month.
CG Top 20 underperformed against both Topix and JPX400 for the month. CG Top 20 slid 0.89%, while Topix and JPX400 rose 0.29% and 0.49% respectively. The cumulative performance of CG Top 20 keeps significant outperformance as shown in the chart below.

METRICAL:Post-COVID-19 Focuses on Family Companies

The environment surrounding our business is changing significantly in line with changes in social life due to the spread of the new corona virus infection. The biggest challenge for management is to adapt to these changes in the environment with a post-corona scenario in mind. We believe that one of the keys to adapting to these changes in a timely and flexible manner is management leadership. We expect to see a lot of interest in the relatively fast-moving family-owned companies. In the past, METRICAL research has shown that companies owned by founder’s families with 20% or more of their companies performing significantly better than average. We would like to focus again on the latest data. The following two charts show the distribution of ROE (actual for past 3-5 years) and Tobin’s Q between family-owned companies (those with 20% or more ownership) and the universe of 1,743 firms, with both ROE and Tobin’s Q being higher for family companies than for the universe of 1,743 companies’ distribution. It remains to be seen whether the family companies will be able to adapt to these changes at a rapid pace and achieve higher profitability, which will be reflected in their stock performance.

METRICAL:CG Stock Performance: November 2020

November stocks surged on global upswing.
CG Top 20 stocks under performed slightly against TOPIX and JPX400.

Stock prices rose Jumped in November on expectations of an economic recovery after Pfizer filed for a new coronavirus vaccine and further liquidity expansion following the U.S. FOMC meeting.

TOPIX and JPX400 indices gained 10.67% and 11.72%, respectively, during the month, while the CG Rating Top 20 ended the month with a 9.16% gain, which was not as large as the two indices.

METRICAL:CG Top 20 Stocks Fell With Underperformance Against TOPIX and JPX400

After an upward trend through the previous months, stock prices fell toward the end of the month in October on concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases in Europe and North America. The CG Rating Score Top 20 stock indexes significantly underperformed the two indices. CG Top 20 stock prices fell 5.41% in October, while TOPIX and JPX400 closed down 2.81% and 2.75% respectively. However, the cumulative return of CG Top 20 stock prices kept significant outperformance against the both indices (see chart below).