Gold Lures Japan’s Pension Funds as New PM Targets InflationBy Aya Takada & Yasumasa Song - Jan 8, 2013 4:03 AM ET
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Japanese pension funds, the world’s second-largest pool of retirement assets after the U.S., will more than double their gold holdings in the next two years as the new government pushes for a higher inflation target, according to an adviser to the funds.
Assets held by Japanese pension funds in gold-backed exchange-traded products may expand to 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) by 2015 from less than 45 billion yen at present, said Itsuo Toshima, who represented the Tokyo office of World Gold Council for 23 years through 2011.
New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to spur inflation to 2 percent and end the yen’s appreciation means Japanese pension funds now have to hedge against rising prices and a currency decline after two decades of stagnation. They’re set to jump into gold after 12 straight years of gains with the precious metal now 14 percent below its all-time high reached 2011. Gold priced in yen reached a record a week ago.