As global uncertainties continued to mount in 2022, investors in the Japanese markets were forced to navigate a rocky road.

“Clearly, the markets the past year have been characterized by a fairly unstable market environment, including inflationary pressures, upward pressure on interest rates, rising geopolitical and military tensions, currency volatility, and monetary tightening,” said Takaaki Muramatsu, director of research at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Hidekatsu Watanabe, head of the equity research department at Mizuho Securities Co., confirmed that as pandemic-related restrictions receded in 2022, macroeconomic and geopolitical obstacles replaced them. “The outlook on equities had been comparatively bullish in anticipation of an economic reopening after the Covid-19 outbreak, but rising U.S. interest rates, the war in Ukraine, and lockdowns in China led to more political, economic, and financial challenges than expected,” he said.

What has this volatility meant for the country’s research analysts and offerings? “For sell-side research in Japan, this challenging combination of market factors for the investor increases the value of the capability of companies like ours to produce and deliver high-quality research to enhance investment performance for our clients,” said SMBC Nikko’s Muramatsu.

Voters in Institutional Investor’s 30th annual ranking of Japan research teams appear to value not only the capabilities but the consistency of the country’s domestic firms....

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