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Fosun says timing is good for investment in Japanese firms

Updated: 2014-09-29 07:34
By Hu Yuanyuan in Tokyo (China Daily)

Fosun International, an investment group headquartered in Shanghai, is seeking investment opportunities in Japan's financial institutions, company CEO Liang Xinjun said on Sunday at a forum on bilateral ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

"Japan is under the pressure of deflation, while China is facing inflation. That means investment in a Japanese financial institution allows us to invest in China with lower capital costs," Liang said at the Beijing-Tokyo Forum sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO, a Japanese nonprofit group.

Liang said Fosun will attempt to buy a stake in a Japanese financial institution.

Japan has introduced strict controls over foreign capital entering its financial sector.

"Negotiations have begun, but they're preliminary," he said.

Matsuda Kaori, Fosun's investment director, said the company is targeting a Japanese insurance firm.

Liang said the chilly bilateral relations between the two countries will be a short-term situation and indicated that now is a good time to invest for both Chinese and Japanese enterprises.

From January to August, Fosun invested 2.3 billion yuan ($371 million) in Japan, which included acquiring an office building in Tokyo and a real estate fund in the country.

"We are also quite interested in investing in Japanese companies whose business is involved in the middle-class lifestyle," said Liang. "China's middle class ... is going to be No 1 in the world within six years. And the country's healthcare industry will exceed the real estate sector to be the biggest economic driver in eight years. Japanese companies should seize the huge investment opportunities."

Zhang Yansheng, secretary-general of the academic committee at China's National Development and Reform Commission, said: "The economic structures of both countries are highly complimentary, and cooperation in trade and processing to service and technologies, especially in the green economy and healthcare industries, is expanding."

Yamaguchi Hirohide, former deputy governor of Japan's central bank, said there are many potential cooperation opportunities.

"China and Japan are facing some similar challenges, such as an aging population and a decelerating economy, leaving room for opportunities."

According to a survey from the forum, more than 60 percent of Chinese who were interviewed said the two countries are highly complementary and could achieve win-win deals.

"The two countries could create closer economic ties to improve the political relationship, beginning with cooperation in environmentally friendly technologies like the prevention of smog," said Zhang Jifeng, director of the Japanese economy department at the Institute of Japan Studies, a division of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


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