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Japan Property Billionaire Mori Bets $202 Million on China

Mori Trust Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Akira Mori. Photographer: Akio Kon/ Bloomberg

Mori Trust Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Akira Mori. Photographer: Akio Kon/ Bloomberg


Billionaire Akira Mori, the owner of Japan’s most profitable closely held developer, said he has formed a company to invest in China and advise Japanese companies on expanding there.



“Japan’s environment is getting difficult; I want to build a company that is willing to take risks,” said Mori, 76, in an interview in Tokyo. Mori said he plans to expand the assets of MA Platform Group, set up with 16 billion yen ($202 million) of capital, to 50 billion yen in five years. MA Platform has invested 18 billion yen including financing so far.

Mori seeks to invest in educational services and mass media in China, he said. The company became the second-largest shareholder in closely held Beijing-based Tsingda eEdu Corp., which offers classes over the Internet.

Japan’s more than a decade of deflation and sluggish economic growth has forced the Bank of Japan (8301) to keep interest rates near zero. In contrast, China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy in 2010 and has introduced a series of tightening measures to keep its economy from expanding too rapidly. Mori plans to take advantage of the near-zero interest rates in Japan to invest in one of the world’s fastest- growing economies.


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