The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Insurance & Other Nonbank Financials, No. 1: Masao Muraki
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Insurance & Other Nonbank Financials, No. 1: Masao Muraki


< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team

Masao Muraki Deutsche Securities First-Place Appearances: 5

Total Appearances: 9

Analyst Debut: 2007 Leader of this pack for a fourth consecutive year, and for the fifth time since 2009, Masao Muraki is heralded for the breadth of his research. Formally covering 14 Japanese insurance and nonbank financials names, and keeping his eye on an additional five domestically and ten internationally, the Deutsche Securities analyst has expanded his purview to include fixed-income and foreign exchange markets as well as equities. “Muraki’s deep understanding of the global financial sector leads him to provide broader views than any of his competitors,” asserts one hedge fund manager. One of the analyst’s long-standing favorites is ORIX Corp., a Tokyo-based mortgage lender and insurance broker that Muraki has urged clients to buy since he initiated coverage on the stock in January 2012. At that time, he advised, ORIX was well positioned to benefit from “its ability to penetrate new niche fields ahead of other companies.” By mid-March 2014 the stock had soared 103.9 percent, climbing to ¥1,466 and outperforming its peers by 45.4 percentage points. Another name that Muraki has long preferred is Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Although its shares traded as low as ¥755 in January 2012, he has maintained a buy rating on the Tokyo-based underwriter since December 2010, when he relaunched reporting on them, at ¥1,238, citing increased earnings from rising long-term interest rates. The depreciating yen is now supportive of Dai-ichi’s performance, the analyst says, and through mid-March 2014 the stock had climbed back to ¥1,449, advancing by 11.6 percent in the trailing 12 months alone and besting all other Japanese insurers by 3.2 percentage points over that period. “He is the dean of financial research,” avers a second backer.


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