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Alternative Market Briefing

Heiwa’s big plan to attract hedge funds Japan faces serious challenges

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to attract hedge funds and other asset managers into Tokyo’s old financial district is facing serious challenges that is frustrating local players, Bloomberg reported.

Take the case of Heiwa Real Estate Co., a small developer but which has a big plan to lure investors back to Japan by building two skyscrapers near city’s stock exchange as part of the Tokyo Global Financial Center redevelopment. The buildings, constructed within one of Abe’s strategic zones with lighter regulations, are not attracting their desired customers though.

Tomoharu Nakao, a managing officer at Heiwa, told Bloomberg, "To tell the truth, it’s making me depressed. But we just have to keep going."

Heiwa plans to launch the two buildings in 2020, constructed within Abe’s National Strategic Special Zone, which is designed to revive the nation’s financial industry with a relaxed approval rules on building construction permit, as well as lighter regulations on building size, allowing landlords like Heiwa to offer lower rents.

However, lower rent is not enough with several banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Barclays which have been cutting their operations in Japan, while the number of hedge funds has not changed the last four years even if Singapore and Hong......................

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