December 30, 2013 2:00 am JST

Japanese mutual funds anticipate record payouts for 2013

TOKYO -- Investment trusts in Japan are expected to distribute a record amount of dividends this year, aided by the weak yen and market rallies in major countries.

     Mutual funds targeting such assets as stocks and bonds paid out 4.56 trillion yen ($43 billion) in dividends in the January-November period, according to the Investment Trusts Association. With December's tally estimated at 400 billion yen, the full-year total is likely to reach about 5 trillion yen, up 5% from 2012 and surpassing the record set in 2011 by 100 billion yen.

     The rise in dividends is expected to further encourage investment and consumption by individuals, especially those middle-aged and older, the major holders of mutual funds.

     Among mutual funds that pay monthly distributions, 409 increased their amounts during the January-November period, more than double last year's figure, according to Deutsche Asset Management.

     Meanwhile, dividends from real estate investment trusts listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are expected to increase 16% to around 237 billion yen for 2013, breaking the record 221.3 billion yen set in 2008.

     The recovery in the real estate market has prompted many funds to boost distributions. Nippon Building Fund is raising its annual dividend by nearly 10%.