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Industries – OTC & Small Companies: First

Finishing in first place for a fourth straight year — and for the sixth time in seven years — is Mariko Watanabe of Credit Suisse.

Mariko Watanabe Credit Suisse

The buy side says: “Mariko is an expert small-cap analyst.”

Finishing in first place for a fourth straight year — and for the sixth time in seven years — is Mariko Watanabe of Credit Suisse. “She is the only small-cap analyst who analyzes the overall market, develops a coherent investment strategy and does a lot of company visits,” declares one backer. Neutral on small-­company stocks in general over the past year, Watanabe did identify some that were likely to outperform. One example: In September the 43-year-old analyst urged investors to buy Daiichikosho Co., at ¥1,294, on the belief that the Tokyo-­based karaoke manufacturer’s product launches would drive up sales. In February, Daiichikosho announced that sales in the nine months through December had risen slightly, from ¥95.5 billion ($1.2 million) to ¥96.1 billion; by the end of that month, the stock had rung up gains of 22.9 percent, to ¥1,590, and outdistanced the sector by 9.2 percentage points. “She views the stock market as if she were a small-cap fund manager like me,” cheers one investor.

Polling and tabulation of data as well as reporting on the sector profiles were completed before the March 11 Tohoku earthquake.

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