A $2 trillion market in Japan is about to swing wide open.
The Japan Post, the country's state-run postal and insurance organization, is on the verge of offering mutual funds through its post offices, reports the Wall Street Journal
Starting in October, the Post will initially offer three types of mutual funds to from 575 post offices across the country, upping that number to 1,500 offices within four years. The funds will be sold through the regular post office staff, who are being specially trained to handle sales of the funds.
Initially, the plans are to offer three funds -- two domestic index funds and one global fund with a mix of stocks, bonds and real estate trusts from both domestic and abroad.
The Journal reports that competition is hot and heavy for the international slot. So far, the Post has received 28 applications, and will probably accept more until its deadline next Thursday. The application process for the domestic index funds is already over.
Some of the speculated contenders include Fidelity, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and State Street. Merrill Lynch Investment Management and Schroeder Investment Management confirmed that they're in the running, as well.
More funds could be added in the future, reports the Journal. The Post has $2.013 trillion in deposits, which represents approximately 15 percent of Japanese household financial assets.
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