Chinese sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) were behind a series of investments in major Japanese firms totaling more than US$19.4 billion in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Between April and September last year, a shareholder called SSBT OD05 Omnibus Account Treaty Clients bought stakes in major companies including Toshiba (TOS.LSE, 6502.TYO), Shiseido (4911.TYO), Kirin Holdings (2503.TYO) and Tokyo Electric Power (9501.TYO), making it among the 10 largest shareholders in each company. Sony (SNE.NYSE, 6758.TYO) and several Japanese banks also saw significant stake purchases by similarly named entities. In all cases, the stake purchases were below the 5% level that requires detailed disclosure under Japanese laws, so the precise identity of the buyer is unclear. However, Japan Shareholder Services, an investment advisory firm, said SAFE was one of the parties behind SSBT OD05.
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