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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Insurance & Other Nonbank Financials, No. 1: Masao Muraki

Deutsche Securities’ Masao Muraki earns top honors for a sixth year in a row — and for the seventh time since 2009.

Masao Muraki
Deutsche Securities
First-Place Appearances: 7

Total Appearances: 11

Analyst Debut: 2007

Deutsche Securities’ Masao Muraki earns top honors for a sixth year in a row — and for the seventh time since 2009. With his purview recently expanded to include global financial strategy, he formally reports on 18 Japanese insurance and nonbank financials names, while keeping sights on five other domestic companies and ten international competitors and suppliers. “Muraki-san is the whole package,” insists one money manager, “and he’s especially good on regulatory changes throughout the region.” In May, Muraki downgraded ORIX Corp. from buy to hold, owing to both its expensive valuation and his expectation that the Tokyo-based insurance broker and mortgage lender’s debt-servicing costs will rise as credit levels expand internationally. Sure enough, by the middle of last month, the stock had slumped 14 percent, to ¥1,619. During the same period, Japan’s shares overall tumbled 17.8 percent. On the other hand, the 39-year-old researcher continues to believe that Tokio Marine Holdings will stand out in this volatile space. Hailing the next phase of management’s medium-term business plan, which includes selling off underperforming assets and a renewed share-buyback program, he dubs the nation’s leading insurance group a top pick. Although the Tokyo-based provider’s shares tumbled 17.3 percent during the 12 months through mid-March, to ¥3,823, that was roughly in line with the domestic broad market’s performance. Muraki believes that a price of ¥5,000 is justified.


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