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BOJ's 'wage-hike ETFs' hit wall of investor apathy

Funds designed as policy tool, not investment

TOKYO -- Despite the initial excitement among major financial institutions, the Bank of Japan's push for exchange-traded funds tracking companies that actively raise employee pay or invest in new equipment has run aground.

The idea behind these investment vehicles, dubbed wage-hike ETFs, goes back to December 2015, when the BOJ announced supplementary easing measures including a pledge to spend 300 billion yen ($2.69 billion) a year on ETFs consisting of companies "proactively investing in physical and human capital."

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