NEW YORK, February 24 (FinanceEnquiry.com) – Clients have withdrawn their billions of dollars from a Japanese fund. As a result, the country’s regulator has stopped its operations of a little-known Tokyo money-management company. The country, which has still not recovered from the billion-dollar Olympus Corp. accounting scandal, has found that AIJ Investment Advisors Co. can’t account for "most of" the ¥183 billion, or approximately $2.3 billion, in pension-fund assets under management.
Mostly unidentified range of Japanese companies invested their money in the fund. Microchip-testing-equipment maker Advantest Corp. and industrial-robot maker Yaskawa Electric Corp. also placed their pension money with AIJ, however, the investment of Yaskawa Electric with AIJ is said to be "very minor," nearly 2% of all its pension-fund investments. And Advantest has approximately 1.7 billion yen in outstanding investments deposited with AIJ, which comes out to be about 8% of its total pension-fund investments, although the company is still looking into the details of the case and has no information about the effect on its earnings due to this incident.
Highlighting the seriousness of the case, the financial services minister of Japan, Shozaburo Jimi, announced that the Financial Services Agency will now examine the operations at all 263 investments firms in the country, due to the investigation of AIJ. According to the Agency, the investigators have been examining a total of 120 cases, including AIJ clients since January. However, they are not able to comment on details, including why the money was missing or the exact amount of losses. The agency has ordered the firm to halt the operations for a month.
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