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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Housing & Real Estate, No. 1: Toshihiko Okino

< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team
Toshihiko Okino
First-Place Appearances: 11

Total Appearances: 15

Analyst Debut: 2000

All-Japan Research Team Hall of Famer Toshihiko Okino of UBS debuted on this roster as a runner-up in 2000 and has earned an appearance every year since then, capturing the top spot for the first time in 2004 and not budging. He also garners a runner-up position in Construction this year. Clients highlight the depth and insight of Okino's coverage of the 20 Japanese housing and real estate names in his portfolio. "His research is clear and compelling and always fresh," one loyalist relates. And the analyst has a knack for "picking up the most important points to formulate a thorough understanding," another portfolio manager says. For example, in July, noting that housing orders had been rising at a double-digit year-over-year rate since the start of 2013, Okino foresaw a correction in profits and share prices, so he downgraded major homebuilders. Among these was Sekisui House, an Osaka-based builder and property manager that he had upgraded from neutral to buy in June 2011, correctly anticipating a rally for the undervalued shares in the wake of that March's earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku. By the time he shifted back to neutral, the stock had rocketed 89.9 percent, to ¥1,466, besting the broad market by 48.9 percentage points. As of mid-March, Sekisui had settled back to ¥1,272; the sector was down 8.7 percent since July, trailing the broad market by 6 percentage points. Going forward, Okino is maintaining his bullish stance on Mitsubishi Estate Co., a commercial-property developer based in Tokyo that he has long preferred, deeming it "the most laggard player" among its rivals. Indeed, the shares fell 11.5 percent over the 12 months through mid-March, to ¥2,421, even as the sector inched up 1.9 percent.

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