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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Banks, No. 2: Hironari Nozaki

< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team
Hironari Nozaki & team
First-place appearances: 10

Total appearances: 12

Team debut: 2003

All-Japan Research Team Hall of Famer Hironari Nozaki, who dominated this lineup for ten straight years, slips to second place. The Citi researcher covers 15 names in this group plus nine other financial concerns, and one admirer cheers his “preference for megabanks over the regional banks.” Those large institutions’ increasing “risk appetite” is appealing, Nozaki says. “As regulators shift their emphasis away from merely ensuring financial health,” he explains, “banks will be encouraged to take on more credit risk,” which could be a catalyst for share-price appreciation. In January 2013 he named Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — the world’s fifth-largest bank, with ¥234 trillion ($2.28 trillion) in assets — his sector favorite. The Tokyo-based provider of financial and investment services enjoyed strong international exposure and a healthy balance sheet, he advised. By the middle of March 2014, Mitsubishi UFJ’s shares had jumped from ¥484 to ¥561. Although their 15.9 percent gain trailed the sector’s rise by 7.1 percentage points over that period, Nozaki is maintaining his positive stance. “He has a long track record and a good grasp of what we need, and is always accessible,” another wealth manager insists.

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