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Public 'whales' own big stakes in 96% of Japan large caps

BOJ, pension fund have accelerated Tokyo stock rally at risk of distortions

TOKYO -- If the Nikkei Stock Average extends its winning streak to five years in 2016, it will owe much to the Bank of Japan and the Government Pension Investment Fund. These two institutions constitute one of the top 10% shareholders in an astounding 96% of major listed companies.

That is 1,917 out of the 2,000 companies on Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section, according to estimates based on the BOJ's roughly 10.7 trillion yen ($90.9 billion) in exchange-traded fund holdings, and the GPIF's disclosed equity positions.

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