Home Medical stocks Pandemic Boosts Host of Little-Known Japanese Tech Stocks

Pandemic Boosts Host of Little-Known Japanese Tech Stocks


(Bloomberg) — China’s startup board may be garnering attention for having a stellar run this year, but its lesser-known counterpart in Japan is pulling way ahead.

The TSE Mothers Index has fetched almost three times the gains seen in the ChiNext Index since a bottom on March 19, as investors flocked to shares related to biotech, e-commerce, online learning and other “stay at home” themes. The Japanese index has rebounded more than 100% since mid-March, and reached a new high for this year on Friday. It was little changed Monday morning.

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“While Mothers has been driven by retail investors actively taking risk, Chinese startup board may be more prone to be swayed by possible pressures of the U.S.-China trade talk tensions,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, a senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

Here are the top 10 companies on Mothers index whose shares have surged since March 19:

BASE Inc. (+987%)

Top winner on Mothers offers an e-commerce platform for an everyday Joe to create their online shop, complete with payment functions and transaction analysis tools. The company saw its June quarter operating profit surge by a whopping 847% on year, citing shift in companies with brick and mortar shops choosing online platforms during the pandemic.

Vega Corp. (+755%)

Operates online furniture shop platforms, which may have benefited from the rise in demand for things like desks and other home-office furniture. In its most recent quarterly earnings for three months ended June, the company announced operating profit rose by over 10,000% year-on-year.

Ficha Inc. (+627% since listing in June)

One of the first companies to go public after a lull in IPOs due to the pandemic. Develops and offers image recognition software products for things like mobility and facial detection applications. The company had estimated that the pandemic will take a toll on the automobile industry, but said it actually saw favorable sales in dashboard cameras, which helped cushion the negative impact.

SuRaLa Net Co. (+508%)

Provides e-learning tools, consulting, and market promotion, which may have benefited from school closures when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a nationwide school shutdown back in February.

NexTone Inc. (+452% since listing in March)

Offers copyright management services, along with consulting and copyright business for industries including music. The company noted in its recent earnings that demand for music and video streaming has risen as people chose to stay at home.

Locondo Inc. (+434%)

Provides B2C, apparel e-commerce platform. Despite the share rally, Locondo saw its sales fall over the three months ended in May, due to a decline in demand for shoes as people refrained from going outside. Nevertheless, it booked record-high quarterly operating profit after cutting down on TV commercials and making other web promotions more efficient, and incorporating automated tools to streamline warehouse operation.

FRONTEO Inc. (+429%)

Develops and offers AI services that are used in legal and business field, such as cross-border litigation, corporate investigations and intellectual property disputes.

CareNet Inc. (+412%)

Operates online medical journal platform for doctors and other medical professionals. Also serves as a platform for pharmaceutical companies to provide drug information to doctors. The company reported a 94.3% jump in operating profit for the first half ended June from a year earlier as more of its medical clients turned to digital communication platforms.

Precision System Science Co. (+406%)

Manufactures tools, equipment, and software for gene, immunity, bacteria, and medicine research and analysis. Offers a fully automated PCR testing system for COVID-19.

J-Stream Inc. (+370%)

Offers media streaming services, such as for clients who want to conduct webinars or promote their service and goods online via video.

(Adds TSE Mothers Index performance in second paragraph)

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