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Masao Muraki of Daiwa Institute of Research rises one rung to claim first-place honors for the first time.
Masao Muraki Daiwa Institute
second team Natsumu Tsujino JPMorgan
third team Makoto Kasai Nikko Citi
Masao Muraki of Daiwa Institute of Research rises one rung to claim first-place honors for the first time. Muraki, 32, earned a bachelors degree in finance theory at Keio University in 1999, then joined Daiwa as a financial institutions analyst in New York before moving to Tokyo in 2006. His time spent in the U.S. proved useful, observes one money manager, as evidenced by Murakis August warning that New Yorkbased American International Group would face a liquidity crisis with global consequences if its credit-default-swaps contracts were triggered by credit rating downgrades to counterparties; the following month the U.S. government seized control of the troubled insurer. He was able to give us good insight into what we might expect for Japanese insurance companies, says one grateful client. Japans insurance sector tumbled 39.9 percent from that August call through February. Natsumu Tsujino slips to second place. In October the JPMorgan Securities Japan analyst, who also is ranked No. 2 in Financials/Other, downgraded T&D Holdings to neutral, at ¥4,220, saying the life insurer faced financing difficulties. The stock price plunged to ¥1,967 in mid-February before starting to recover, ending the month at ¥2,230. Tsujino attributes the sharp dip to short-selling: It is too much of a move; therefore, I did not change the call to underweight. Newcomer Makoto Kasai of Nikko Citi debuts in third place. In November, Kasai reiterated his buy rating on Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings, at ¥2,035, on valuation. By the end of February, the stock had shot up 16.5 percent, to ¥2,370.
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