Japan Travel Stocks Get a Boost From Vaccine Certificate Plan
(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s beleaguered travel shares got a boost after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday floated the use of vaccine certificates as a way to restore the economy to normalcy once the current state of emergency is lifted.
Airlines and railways were among the biggest gainers in Tokyo on Thursday, with analysts saying that the idea, along with a possible peaking of coronavirus infections in the city, may mean that a long-delayed economic reopening is in sight. The Topix Air Transport index added 2.3% and the Topix Land Transport index gained 1.1%, while the broader benchmark was little changed.
“We will carefully consider how to restore daily life and socioeconomic activities, such as bars and restaurants, travel and events, including how to actively use vaccination certificates” once the state of emergency is lifted, Suga said at a press conference Wednesday. It’s currently set to run until Sept. 12.
Though the idea of vaccine certificates for bars and restaurants has been floated in the past by officials, Suga’s comments may have fueled investor expectation for economic reopening, said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. Travel agencies also rose, with H.I.S. Co. and Airtrip Corp. adding 2.4% and 1.6% respectively.
With the ongoing state of emergency, Japan’s markets have failed to enjoy the type of vaccine-fueled stock market bounce seen in the U.S. and Europe, even as the country’s inoculation drive catches up. Almost 43% of Japan’s population was fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. Arisawa also said market watchers were eyeing the stalling of growth in Tokyo’s infections, which on Wednesday fell by 1,158 cases from a week earlier.
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