Japan’s Investors Raise Bets on Kono in Leadership Race

TOKYO—Japan’s stock investors have raised bets Taro Kono will become the country’s next prime minister, snatching up renewable energy and office technology shares that are expected to benefit under his economic policies. At the same time, investors are now trimming holdings of some medical service shares that had previously benefited on now fading expectations former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, an advocate of spending in that sector, could succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Weekend polls showed vaccine minister Kono emerging as a strong favourite to become the next leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and therefore prime minister, well ahead of Kishida and former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba. While there are few specific details about each candidate’s economic platforms, investors are nonetheless positioning themselves ahead of the Sept. 29 LDP vote. “Some foreign investors are buying Japanese stocks on Kono hopes,” said Hiroyuki Ueno, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui …

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