Fast Retailing to Asahi Named to Women-Empowering Firms List; The exchange labeled the women-empowering companies selection the “Nadeshiko” list

Fast Retailing to Asahi Named to Women-Empowering Firms List

Fast Retailing Co. (9983), Asia’s largest apparel seller, and Nissan Motor Co. are among the Japanese companies that do the most to empower female employees, according to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The world’s largest bourse outside the U.S. selected those companies and 15 others for its list of firms that provide child care services and career advancement opportunities for female employees, the bourse said in a statement today.

“Expectations are increasing that women will help revive the Japanese economy,” said Hiroki Kawai, an official at Japan Exchange Group Inc. (8697), which operates the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The list was compiled with the help of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and is the exchange’s third specialty selection. The exchange has said it expects the lists to encourage trading, which plunged 58 percent on the first section to 307 trillion yen ($3.34 trillion) in the six years ended Dec. 31.

“We started by picking a theme that would make investors want to cheer companies on by investing,” Kawai told reporters today in Tokyo. He said it can be difficult for individual investors to carefully select from the more than 2,000 companies on the Tokyo bourse.

The exchange initially chose as many as two top companies from each of 33 industry sub-sectors, then narrowed the selection based on two criteria: Promoting women to management positions and offering support allowing a balance of work and family needs.

Patents, ESG

Last year, the bourse selected 10 firms with exceptionally valuable patents and a roster of 15 that showed the most awareness of environmental, social and governance issues.

The list of patent-value companies has gained 14 percent this year compared with the 9.7 percent advance for the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average. The ESG-list companies have also risen 14 percent this year.

The women-empowerment roster includes: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Nikon Corp. (7731), Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. (2502), KDDI Corp. (9433), Toyota Tsusho Corp. (8015), Kao Corp. (4452), Sekisui House Ltd. (1928), Asahi Glass Co., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (5110), Daido Steel Co., Tokyu Corp. (9005), Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc. (1334), Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Daikin Industries Ltd. (6367)

The exchange labeled the women-empowering companies selection the “Nadeshiko” list, adopting the nickname for Japan’s national women’s soccer team, which won the World Cup in 2011. Nadeshiko is also Japanese for a type of flower.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average had its best performance in seven years in 2012, jumping 23 percent. That helped double the daily trading average to 2.2 trillion yen a month in January from 1.14 trillion yen in September, the exchange’s statistics showed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at; Yuki Hagiwara in Tokyo at

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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