2016 All-Japan Research Team: Trading Companies, No. 3: Akifumi Hayashi
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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Trading Companies, No. 3: Akifumi Hayashi

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After a year in second place, Akifumi Hayashi of Mizuho Securities Group slips back to third.

< The 2016 All-Japan Research Team

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Akifumi Hayashi

Mizuho Securities Group

First-place appearances: 0


Total appearances: 3


Team debut: 2014


After a year in second place, Akifumi Hayashi of Mizuho Securities Group slips back to third. His loyal following values the 45-year-old analyst’s expertise and broad coverage. “He used to work on the buy side and understands our needs for data,” proclaims one client. Other allies appreciate his research into non-Japanese competitors as “helpful for our understanding of fundamental business conditions on a global basis,” as a second investor puts it. Hayashi is sticking with Mitsui & Co., a Tokyo-based purveyor of chemicals, metals, textiles and other merchandise — and the No. 2 general trader in Japan — that he has long urged clients to buy. Throughout the past year he has highlighted his upbeat stance, pointing to, for example, the company’s strong free cash flow. For the 12 months through mid-March, Mitsui shares declined 14.9 percent, to ¥1,407. Over the same period the domestic sector lost 10.8 percent, and the nation’s broad market tumbled 16.8 percent. Mitsui’s nearest domestic competitor by market capitalization, No. 3 Itochu Corp., is the researcher’s top pick going forward, thanks likewise to healthy free-cash-flow generation. Headquartered in Osaka — and trading everything from energy-related products and food to chemicals, commodities, construction materials, machinery, metals, textiles and wood — Itochu holds a price objective of ¥2,200. It closed in mid-March at ¥1,425. Hayashi reports on five names in this sector and three base-metals concerns.



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