Japan's stock market is set to be lifted out of the doldrums despite the collapse of an affiliate of one of its major banks, a finance expert has predicted. Edmund Lacis, director of business development for Fidelity Investments, said he was optimistic about prospects for Japan's economy in the long term. His comments come after an affiliate of troubled Nippon Credit Bank collapsed recently with debts of 1.06 trillion yen (about HK$66.45 billion), the single largest failure in Japanese corporate history. Mr Lacis said: 'If you look at Japan on a long-term basis there is a lot of potential for good earnings for investors with companies proving to be attractive. In the near term, it is still a difficult place for investors with the recent bankruptcy of the Nippon Credit Bank unit after the deterioration of the property market.' Meanwhile, his company was becoming increasingly optimistic about the investment potential in the Taiwanese stock market due to its stronger economy and continued inflow of foreign money. Fidelity recently launched a Taiwan fund and recommended investors in the Taiwan market take a long-term view and prepare for high volatility. 'Taiwan is a volatile market but the trade-off for investors is historically a high return on funds,' Mr Lacis said. Fidelity officials predict that countries such as Thailand and Korea - the two worst performing stock markets in the region last year - should begin to show an upturn for investors over the next three to four years. An upturn for investors in South Korea was expected after the general election in December, Mr Lacis said.