Reuters wrote last week:
FIGURE 1: NIKKEI 225 STOCK AVERAGE (1995–2017)
As Reuters points out, however, very long-term investors in Japan might still be underwater on their holdings, since “the Nikkei is still a long way off its all-time peak of 38,915, touched in December 1989.”
FIGURE 2: NIKKEI 225 STOCK AVERAGE (1983–2017)
On a year-to-date basis, Japan’s overall equity market has slightly outperformed the S&P 500 through Friday, October 13, up 18.2% versus the S&P’s gain of 15.7%. Compared to some other major industrialized countries, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group, Japan’s strong performance is roughly in the middle of the pack for 2017.
FIGURE 3: RELATIVE EQUITY MARKET PERFORMANCE OF SELECTED COUNTRIES
One of the best-performing stocks anywhere has been Japan’s diversified telecom and internet company SoftBank Group. Barron’s says the stock has outperformed three of four U.S. “FANG” stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google), with the exception being Netflix. Due in part to high-profile deal-making, the company’s stock is up “27% year-to-date and 140% from the lows of 2016.”
Bloomberg noted recently that SoftBank surged to a 17-year high but is still at less than half of its peak in the dot-com years. They point out that SoftBank is “part of a group of investors in talks for a 14-17 % stake in Uber Technologies” and also “in the final stages of working out terms” for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Among SoftBank’s holdings, says Bloomberg, are significant stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.
FIGURE 4: SOFTBANK STOCK PERFORMANCE (2000–2017)