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Retailing/Convenience & Specialty Stores

Hiroshi Koba, 42, of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. was No. 1 last year in Retailing.

Hiroshi Koba Mitsubishi UFJ

second team Sho Kawano Goldman Sachs

third team Taketo Yamate UBS

runners-up Chiaki Hirota JPMorgan; Maki Shinozaki Daiwa Institute

Hiroshi Koba, 42, of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. was No. 1 last year in Retailing. This year the sector has been divided, and ­Koba captures top honors among analysts who cover Convenience & Specialty Stores. Noted for “standing firm on his research findings for long-term value,” according to one client, Koba reiterated his long-­standing outperform recommendation on Japan’s biggest shoe­maker, Chiyoda Co., in March 2008. Through February 2009 the stock had outpaced the sector by 16.8 percentage points. Sho Kawano of Goldman Sachs (Japan), a runner-­up in Retailing for the previous two years, finishes second. Lauded as an “exceptional stock picker” by one investor, Kawano upgraded Fast Retailing Co. to buy in October, at ¥8,190, on the clothing retailer’s renewed commitment to its core business. The stock had shot up to ¥9,950 by late February. Taketo Yamate, No. 3 last year in Retailing, is No. 3 in both Retailing sectors this year. The UBS analyst also recommended Fast Retailing in October, and clients who followed his advice enjoyed a 17.3 percent gain through ­February.

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2009 All-Japan Research Team Rankings

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