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Demand Up 50% Thanks to 'Abenomics,' Says Property Head

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 | 4:49 AM ET
How Abenomics Is Driving Japanese Property
Jeffrey Schwartz, Executive Director at Global Logistic Properties says his customers think Japanese growth prospects are on the right track for the first time since the early 1990s.

The co-founder of Global Logistic Properties (GLP) - the largest owner of industrial real estate in Japan - says demand has been booming since "Abenomics" came into play late last year.

"We've seen our inquiries go pre-December from approximately 60,000 meters [of property] inquiries per week to over 90,000," Jeffrey Schwartz, co-founder and executive director at GLP told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "We've seen a 50 percent increase in demand, which we're going to translate to increased development opportunities."

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies dubbed "Abenomics" which include an ambitious push for hefty spending and monetary easing has garnered widespread criticism on whether it will work in bringing the world's third largest economy out of long-standing deflation and stagnant growth.

But Schwartz said "Abenomics" has resulted in turning sentiment "very positive" among its customers, who believe the policies will jump start the economy. The yen has fallen almost 24 percent since November when Abe first started talking about ending deflation and reviving growth, driving the Nikkei almost 50 percent higher.

"Among consumers in Japan, people really believe that for the first time, since 1989, 1990, Japan is on the right foot and taking the right steps to solve the deflationary issue," Schwartz said.

Abe has pushed the central bank to adopt a target of achieving 2 percent inflation within two years, which has led the Bank of Japan to embark on aggressive monetary easing.

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While Schwartz admits that inflation will push up property prices in Japan, he doesn't think it will negatively impact his business.

"Yes, pricing will go up but when you have an install base [business] of $8 billion, pricing going up works to the advantage for us, our shareholders, creates value for us. So we're pretty excited about it," Schwartz said.

Singapore listed GLP shares are up over 10 percent in the last six months.

Schwartz adds that GLP averaged a 99 percent occupancy rate in 2012 even before "Abenomics," and he's confident that the business will thrive even when the impact of the policies begin to wear off.

By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani; Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu

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