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What is a Samurai Market?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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The slang term “samurai market” refers to the financial market in Japan, including securities like stocks and bonds along with other investments. This term is most commonly used by outsiders, rather than Japanese people, and can come up in the context of investment reviews, discussions on global markets, and other matters. Investing in the samurai market can be challenging for some foreign investors, as it tends to focus on Japanese and Asian companies and may not contain companies Western investors are familiar with.

Japan is not the only country to have acquired a colorful nickname for its financial markets. Stock exchanges in the United Kingdom are known as the bulldog market, while markets in the United States are known as the Yankee market. As with the samurai market, these terms are primarily used by foreign investors and commentators, rather than people trading in their home nations, and some of these nicknames have a pejorative history, although they have since become common slang terms.

Japan has some extremely large financial markets and is a major player in the global market. Historically, Japanese securities exchanges have been among the largest markets in Asia and they were routinely listed among the biggest in the world, after markets like the New York Stock Exchange in the United States. These markets contain a variety of financial products developed by Japanese companies and investors.

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Information about the performance of the samurai market is usually readily available from a number of sources. Individual markets maintain websites with regularly updated information about recent activities and related matters for interested members of the public. Financial publications and broadcasts used information released by the market, as well as forecasters and other professionals to provide informative reporting, and people can also learn about activity on the Japanese market through individual reports from investors.

The samurai market welcomes investment from foreign investors and companies. Non-Japanese companies can be listed on the exchange after meeting certain requirements and foreign traders are welcome. Trading on this market provides access to investment opportunities across Asia, as well as throughout the world and companies traded on the exchange rely on brisk activity to raise capital for various endeavors. People unfamiliar with the market can work with a broker or agent to select appropriate investments, and work with tools like stock indexes to track the highest-performing securities on the market to gauge performance among their own investments.

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