2015 All-Japan Research Team: Banks, No. 3: Rie Nishihara
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2015 All-Japan Research Team: Banks, No. 3: Rie Nishihara

Rie Nishihara, who debuted on this roster last year at runner-up, advances to No. 3.

< The 2015 All-Japan Research Team

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Rie Nishihara

Mizuho Securities Group

First-place appearances: 0


Total appearances: 2


Team debut: 2014


Rie Nishihara, who debuted on this roster last year at runner-up, advances to No. 3. The Mizuho Securities researcher, 44, “leverages her experience in the industry for in-depth knowledge of the global regulatory framework,” asserts one asset manager. In July 2012, shortly after moving from the Bank of Japan, where she had worked for 16 years, Nishihara launched coverage on Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, assigning the stock a buy rating at ¥358. She credited the institution’s strong financial base, noting that it was the only big domestic bank to comply with Basel III common equity tier-1 capital requirements and was well positioned to withstand a financial crisis. Management’s plans to use surplus funds to fortify overseas operations also won her favor. She highlighted her positive outlook in December 2014, after Mitsubishi UFJ executives released stronger-than-expected profits for the first half of the fiscal year that ended last month and announced that it would buy back shares. This, the analyst advises, marked an important shift away from capital accumulation and toward enhancing shareholder returns. The stock was then up 87.2 percent since she began reporting on it, which was better even than the sector’s 84.9 percent rise during the period. Sure enough, Mitsubishi UFJ has kept climbing, gaining 14.2 percent by late March, to close at ¥765.10 and best its peers by 2.7 percentage points. She believes that a price of ¥900 is justified. Nishihara, who tracks four Japanese banking stocks, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Tokyo and a master’s degree in finance from the London Business School.



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