Yutaka Shoji, Japan’s futures trading company listed on the JASDAQ Securities Exchange, will be investing more than RM13 million to set up a presence in Malaysia.
The Tokyo-based firm is spreading its wings to local shores after securing a licence from Securities Commission as a derivatives brokerage.
Yutaka Shoji Malaysia managing director Tsuyoshi Morita said the crude palm oil (CPO) market in Malaysia has much potential, and has not been fully explored.
“We see ourselves taking a role in advancing the market, as we have the necessary skill sets in commodity futures trading to offer price stability for both local and global buyers,” he said in a statement.
As the only futures brokerage firm from Japan to have a presence in Malaysia, Yutaka Shoji seeks to connect local producers to Japanese buyers and to open up the market to both groups of stakeholders.
“Asia is the heart beat of commodities trading. We have had a presence in Singapore for almost 30 years, specialising in rubber futures trading. It is about time for Yutaka Shoji to come to Malaysia with a specific focus on CPO futures as the market has strong growth prospects,” he said.
Morita foresees demand from Japanese buyers comprising up to 50 per cent of its initial business, given Japan’s need for CPO as part of its renewable energy policy.
“We also aim to attract local retail participants who would like to set up a trading account to benefit from the risk which producers and buyers seek to mitigate, while also leveraging on arbitrage opportunities, which will make up the other 50 per cent of our targets,” he added.
Since the Fukushima nuclear tragedy in 2011, the Japanese government approved a Strategic Energy Plan for industries in Japan to embrace renewable energy, as a step towards enhanced environmental friendliness standards.
As such, interests among Japanese firms in the potential of CPO products for power generation is on the rise. Given skyrocketing petroleum prices, as well as the commodity’s non-renewable nature, CPO is poised to be Japan’s next major renewable energy source.
This in turn shines the spotlight on Malaysia as the second largest producer of palm oil worldwide, contributing to 40 per cent of the world’s global palm oil exports.