TOKYO — Stocks of midsize Japanese pharmaceutical companies have become beneficiaries of market expectations over “Suganomics,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s policy initiatives.
Investors started scouring the market for stocks that could ride on the momentum of the new leader’s agenda even before he became prime minister.
In early September, when Suga was widely seen as the favorite in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election to choose the successor to the resigning Shinzo Abe, speculative investors piled into shares of regional banks in hopes that Suga would promote the consolidation of local lenders under his Suganomics agenda of regulatory reform. When expectations of a new “digital agency” emerged, a range of stocks related to information technology were snapped up.
Two notable winners in this trend have been Aska Pharmaceutical and Fuji Pharma, two midsize companies with a line of fertility drugs. Shortly after Suga, in his speech for the LDP presidential poll in the afternoon of Sept. 8, promised to make the public health insurance program cover fertility treatments, the two stocks started shooting up as the companies’ infertility remedies intrigued many investors. Fuji Pharma spiked 26.6% from the previous day, while Aska zoomed 18.8%.
The initiative came too late, however, for people like 40-something couples who have spent several million yen to have a child in the past several years.