Wednesday, October 2, 2013
3mn Sign Up For Tax-Free Accounts On 1st Day
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Applications for tax-free individual investment accounts likely topped 3 million on Tuesday, the official start of registration for the so-called NISA program.
Financial institutions, jostling for demand stirred up by the program, started filing applications at 8:30 a.m. for those who had preregistered.
As of Sept. 24, 2.93 million people had expressed interest in opening an account, a survey of 28 major financial institutions showed. More appeared to have followed, likely pushing first-day applications past 3 million. More than 80% of these applications were filed through brokerages.
The NISA program lets people invest up to 1 million yen a year without paying taxes on capital gains or dividends for five years. Eligible investments include stocks and stock investment trusts.
The account openings "are going more smoothly than we had expected," said Kazutoshi Inano, chairman of the Japan Securities Dealers Association.
"I think the government's goal of 25 trillion yen (in NISA assets) by 2020 can be reached ahead of time," Inano predicted.
Financial institutions are doing their part to spread the word about the program. About 40 people attended an investment seminar Tuesday night hosted by Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo's Marunouchi district.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 2 morning edition)