This content is from: Research

2015 All-Japan Research Team: Banks, No. 1: Hironari Nozaki

After having slipped to No. 2 on this list last year, All-Japan Research Team Hall of Fame analyst Hironari Nozaki reclaims the top spot.

Hironari Nozaki
Citi
First-Place Appearances: 11

Total Appearances: 13

Analyst Debut: 2003

After having slipped to No. 2 on this list last year, All-Japan Research Team Hall of Fame analyst Hironari Nozaki reclaims the top spot. The 51-year-old Citi researcher wins investor praise for his October “Japanese Banks in a Global Context” primer, which compared the total loss-absorption capacity of various financial institutions amid uncertainties about global regulatory reform. The report was especially helpful in the lead-up to the November Group of 20 economic summit in Australia, buy-siders say. “Nozaki’s greatest strength is that he understands and can explain intelligently the inner workings of each company and the interplay between the regulators, the central banks and the managers of each institution,” observes one asset manager. In January the analyst named three Tokyo-based banks as among the most promising in his 15-name sector portfolio: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Shinsei Bank. These firms enjoy declining costs of capital, he notes, and their management teams have renewed their share-buyback programs. By late March the shares had advanced 9.7 percent, 12.6 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, to ¥4,726.50, ¥516.60 and ¥246, while Japanese banks overall gained 12.5 percent. He projects that the stocks will rise to ¥6,500, ¥580 and ¥330. “Nozaki is good at explaining fundamentals, including global comparables and regulations, from a global investor’s point of view,” another admirer remarks. Although clients will surely miss Nozaki’s insight, those abilities should serve him well in his next career. Nozaki left Citi at the end of last month to become a professor of economics and finance at Kyoto Bunkyo University.


Related Content