BlackRock, Man Group Reveal Big Japan Bets Before BOJ Decision

Snap up more Japanese stocks, ratchet up shorts on government debt and keep buying the yen: these are some of the most popular calls from big-name money managers ahead of a central bank meeting that may end the world’s last experiment with negative interest rates.

Speculation that the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates on Tuesday intensified after the nation’s largest union group announced stronger-than-expected annual wage deals. The stakes will be enormous, changing market dynamics at a time when the nation’s blue-chip share gauge is towering near its record high, bond yields are creeping back up and the weak currency is boosting exporters.

BlackRock Inc. and Man Group Plc. are among those seeing room for further gains in equities as economic vitality returns. RBC BlueBay Asset Management has made shorting 10-year government bonds its biggest macro bet, while abrdn plc and Robeco are placing bullish yen wagers.

“This is a momentous event,” said Yue Bamba, head of Japan active investments at BlackRock, who expects rate increases to be gradual, keeping monetary conditions accommodative and supportive of stocks. “The drivers of growth are varied, broad and durable. I think we’re a long way away from things being fully priced in.”

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