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Industries — Insurance & Other Nonbank Financials: Third

Koichi Niwa
SMBC Nikko Securities

Making the team for the first time since 2009 is SMBC Nikko Securities’ Koichi Niwa, who claims the No. 3 spot. The analyst covers 14 companies — but he is known for “monitoring many others, which helps make him the best person to chat with on a variety of investment ideas,” according to one London-based fund manager. Niwa recommends buying “good-quality names,” he says. Current favorites include Tokyo-based property/casualty giant Tokio Marine Holdings; he has rated it outperform since November 2011, primarily on valuation. In the 12 months through mid-March, the stock leaped 25.9 percent, from ¥2,313 to ¥2,913, and led the sector by 9.8 percentage points. Niwa anticipates further earnings growth, in part from Tokio Marine’s ventures in North America, and rising dividends from its ample capital. — Ben Mattlin


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