Investors are more confident in a Japanese leader than any time since at least September 2010, with optimism about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies exceeding that for counterparts in the U.S., Europe and China.
The number of respondents who are more optimistic than pessimistic on the impact of Abe’s plans on Japan’s investment climate rose to 66 percent this month from 54 percent in January, a worldwide poll of investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers showed. Japan offers one of the top two opportunities globally in the next year, according to 33 percent of respondents, up from 21 percent and beating China for the first time in surveys dating back to 2009.
Most in the survey see an end to the deflation entrenched in Japan for more than a decade, as Abe and central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda apply monetary and fiscal stimulus. At the same time, a minority of 34 percent saw Abenomics delivering both inflation and faster domestic growth, heightening focus on the government’s structural-reform agenda to be unveiled next month.
“Abe bought time and succeeded in changing people’s minds” about Japan’s potential, said respondent Ai Sato, a stock trader at Nissay Asset Management in Tokyo. “We’re seeing the effects of this ‘sake’ through foreign investors increasing Japanese exposure,” she said, using a reference to traditional rice wine for the liquidity being injected by the Bank of Japan.
The optimism rating for Abe’s policies is higher than any leader ever tested, even Germany’s Angela Merkel, who has long been at the top on this question.