TOKYO -- Nikko Asset Management's robotics equity fund has topped 1 trillion yen ($9.17 billion) in assets as lofty expectations for global robot demand lure investors away from income trusts paying monthly dividends.
The Global Robotics Equity Fund's top holdings at the end of December were Japanese robot makers Keyence and Yaskawa Electric and foreign companies like America's Rockwell Automation. The 1 trillion yen tally covers assets from the fund's four strains, including ones offering annual and semiannual settlements.
Brisk growth in robotics-related stocks since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November 2016 have boosted the fund's value.
Nomura Asset Management's Nomura Japan Equity Strategy Fund, set up in 2000, was the last mutual fund heavily weighted toward Japanese shares to reach 1 trillion yen. The Fidelity US REIT Fund B and Shinko US-REIT Open fund were also well-known Japanese investment trusts in the trillion yen club, but neither exceeds that mark now.
U.S. real estate investment trusts are falling amid lower dividends and as Japanese financial institutions cut back sales of income trusts with monthly payouts at the behest of the country's Financial Services Agency. Some of this money was likely steered into robotics-focused mutual funds.