What Is the Tokyo Price Index (TOPIX)?

What Is the Tokyo Price Index (TOPIX)?

4 Min.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) calculates and publishes the Tokyo Price Index, also known as TOPIX. This stock market index tracks domestic companies listed in the exchange's first section, which represents Japan's largest firms by market capitalization. The Nikkei is another Japanese stock index composed of the top 225 blue chip companies traded on the TSE. Although investors cannot directly buy an index, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) like the TOPIX Core 30 ETF allow them to invest in a selection of securities, mirroring the performance of the TOPIX.

Basics

TOPIX, the Tokyo Price Index, is the definitive gauge for stock valuations within the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This capitalization-weighted index encompasses the comprehensive array of companies featured in the TSE's "first section," consolidating major corporations within a unified framework. Meanwhile, the TSE's second section caters to the remaining smaller enterprises.

What Is the Tokyo Price Index (TOPIX)?

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), Japan's premier stock exchange, plays a pivotal role in formulating and disseminating the Tokyo Price Index. In contrast to the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, the TOPIX is hailed as a superior reflection of Japan's diverse stock markets. This distinction arises from its impartial portrayal of price fluctuations and comprehensive coverage of the TSE's largest corporations. By contrast, the Nikkei 225 relies on price-based weighting and comprises only the top 225 blue-chip firms on the TSE.

TOPIX Sector Indices: A Comprehensive Insight

TOPIX, dating back to its base date of January 4, 1968, ascribes 100 points to market capitalization, offering a critical barometer of current company valuations. It is a pivotal tool for discerning market trends and guides investment decisions.

Within the TOPIX framework, 33 distinct sector indices emerge, categorized in accordance with the standards established by the Securities Identification Code Committee. These encompass a broad spectrum of industries: construction, textiles, nonferrous metals, machinery, energy, transportation, retail, finance, securities, real estate, insurance, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and iron and steel.

Moreover, TOPIX extends its influence through subindices disseminated by the TSE. These encompass the TOPIX New Index Series, size-based TOPIX subindices, TOPIX sector indices, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Composite Index Series, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Dividend Focus 100 Index, the Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Property Sector Index Series, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index.

TOPIX: Embracing Free Float Methodology

TOPIX underwent a transformative shift across three phases, transitioning from a method that weighted companies based on their collective outstanding shares to one grounded in free float shares, initiated in 2005 and finalized by the summer of 2006.

While seemingly technical, this alteration significantly influenced the weighting of index-listed companies. Many Japanese firms held shares in their business partners, fostering intricate business alliances. Yet, these holdings ceased contributing to the index's company weight computation. This practice, deeply rooted in Japanese business culture, is known as keiretsu, which, when translated directly, signifies a "headless combine."

TOPIX Core 30: Leading the Way

The TOPIX Core 30 Index, part of the TOPIX index family, stands as a capitalization-weighted benchmark, monitoring the fortunes of 30 select stocks within the TOPIX index. These chosen stocks, characterized by substantial market capitalization and high liquidity, have formed this index since its inception on April 1, 1998, commencing with a base value of 1,000. Among the notable entities included in the TOPIX Core 30 are renowned Japanese corporations such as Honda Motor, Canon, Mitsubishi Corp., Sony, and Toyota Motor.

While direct acquisition of an index remains unfeasible for investors, they can gain exposure through exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The TOPIX Core 30 Exchange Traded Fund, managed by the Nomura Asset Management Company, endeavors to replicate the TOPIX Core 30's composition, delivering commensurate price and yield performance.

Conclusion

TOPIX on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is a crucial metric, covering all major "first section" firms with capitalization weighting. It also includes sector indices, impacted by the shift to free float methodology in 2005, and the TOPIX Core 30 Index, tracking 30 prominent stocks like Honda, Canon, Mitsubishi, Sony, and Toyota. Investors can access the performance of the index through the TOPIX Core 30 ETF managed by Nomura Asset Management.

Tokyo Price Index (TOPIX)
Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)
Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)
Market Index
Japan
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