Trump Victory Excites Japanese Institutional Investors
Will there be a resurgence of Japanese capital into the United States?
In the 1980s and 1990s, Japan was a major foreign investor into the United States, buying up equities and prized real estate. Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) earlier indicated that a push for U.S. infrastructure spending would intrigue the public fund into backing such investments. Many Asian wealth funds see the infrastructure spending effect could trickle down and spur U.S. consumption spending. A number of Asian wealth funds have been investing in mezzanine debt in hotel properties in core markets such as the Korean Investment Corporation (KIC).
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group has been raising money for its US$ 100 billion technology fund, SoftBank Vision Fund. This technology fund has raised money from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and other cash-rich investors. The Vision Fund could partake in a number of investments. For example, Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd., a major supplier for Apple Inc., had started studying moving iPhone production to the United States. There was concern that a Trump presidency could force Apple to make a certain number of smartphone pieces in the United States. If such a forced move would come true, entities such as SoftBank could introduce more high-tech manufacturing using robotics and automation into the U.S.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son met with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Son indicated that the fund may invest up to US$ 50 billion into the United States.
As journalists circle Trump Tower daily, Trump told the waiting reporters on December 6, 2016, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Masa from Japan.”
He added, “He’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs. He’s one of the great men of industry, so I just want to thank you very much. Thank you.”
Son responded, “I just came to celebrate his new job.” He added, “This is great, the U.S. will become great again.”
U.S. President-elect Trump later tweeted:
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