Japan sees investors flock to AI, big data funds - FinanceFeeds

Japan sees investors flock to AI, big data funds

Individual investors in Japan are showing increased interest in trusts focusing on AI and other cutting-edge technologies, according to data from QUICK Asset Management Research Center.

Funds that are oriented towards artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are attracting Japanese investors, according to the latest data compiled by QUICK Asset Management Research Center, quoted by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. This happens as popular monthly-distribution trusts are registering a net outflow of funds.

The latest data on fund flows for investment trust management companies shows that individual investors are being lured to trusts that focus on AI and other cutting-edge technologies.

Daiwa Asset Management, for example, registered a net inflow of JPY 370.1 billion in 2017, the largest among investment trust management companies. A fund for investment in robotics-related stocks, introduced by Daiwa at the end of 2015, continues to lure investors. Goldman Sachs Asset Management also recorded strong sales of a fund for global stock investments utilizing big data.

Let’s recall that the latest Monex Global Retail Investor Survey conducted from November 27 to December 1, 2017, shows that “Technology” ranked at the top of the most attractive sectors among retail investors in Japan, U.S. and China (Hong Kong). There was no major change in the other sectors. However, while “Finance” was ranked high by retail investors in U.S and China (Hong Kong), “Banks” ranked low in Japan, and a difference in bias was apparent.

This is in line with the results from the preceding investor survey, which also showed that technology was the most attractive sector for investors in all three regions covered by the survey. Monex explained back then that this interest is largely fueled by almost daily media coverage about advancements in AI and that expectations of technology companies among retail investors are extremely high.

There has been, indeed, a plethora of news regarding investment into AI, especially in Japan. In November 2017, Xenodata Lab, a Tokyo-based firm that leverages the power of artificial intelligence to provide finance data analytics products to financial services companies, announced that it had secured JPY 250 million in funding from Japanese financial majors, such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306), SMBC, Mizuho, and Okasan Securities.

And in December last year, Mitsui & Co Ltd (TYO:8031) announced an investment into Preferred Networks, Inc (PFN), a company that specializes in AI technology development and provision, with the focus being on deep learning.

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