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Hisaaki Yokoo, 46, rises one rung to seize top honors for the first time since 2006.
Hisaaki Yokoo Goldman Sachs
second team Takao Kanai Nikko Citi
third team Shuichi Nishimura Nomura
runners-up Takato Watabe Deutsche; Mikiya Yamada Barclays
Hisaaki Yokoo, 46, rises one rung to seize top honors for the first time since 2006. Investors say this textbook analyst has a reputation for rational opinions and ideas. Rising costs of raw materials and falling demand prompted the Goldman Sachs (Japan) analyst to downgrade synthetic-fiber maker Teijin to sell in April, at ¥441. By the end of February, the share price had taken a 61.0 percent nosedive, to ¥172. During the same period the sector tumbled 39.2 percent. Down a notch to second place is Nikko Citis Takao Kanai, who is enthusiastic about pleasing clients, according to one buy-sider. Kanai downgraded Mitsui Chemicals to sell in May, at ¥610, on increasing competitiveness in the petrochemicals market. Mitsuis share price had plummeted 65.4 percent, to ¥211, by the end of February. Shuichi Nishimura spent the past five years as a runner-up; this year the Nomura Securities Co. analyst rises to third place. He has the kind of easy access to management and deep knowledge that only come from experience, observes one longtime client. Nishimura downgraded all chemicals stocks to neutral in August, citing earnings pressure from rising costs. By late February the sector had fallen 36.5 percent, compared with a broad market decline of 38.4 percent.
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