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Workman inspires big-name investors to mine Japan for next gem

Fidelity and Schroders buy lesser-known names as blue chips face headwinds

Workman has branched out from overalls and other construction gear to athletic wear. (Photo by Yuta Kimura)

TOKYO -- Japan's undervalued small- and mid-cap stocks are catching the eye of global institutional investors after the unlikely success of Workman -- a vendor of job-site apparel whose market value has more than doubled this year.

Take FIL Investments (Japan). The Fidelity International group company has reported a 5.37% stake in matchmaking service provider Partner Agent, which has a market capitalization of just 3.8 billion yen ($35 million)

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