2016 All-Japan Research Team: Equity Strategy, No. 1: Ryota Sakagami
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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Equity Strategy, No. 1: Ryota Sakagami


Headlining this roster for a second year running is Ryota Sakagami of SMBC Nikko Securities.

< The 2016 All-Japan Research Team


Ryota Sakagami

SMBC Nikko Securities

First-Place Appearances: 2

Total Appearances: 4

Analyst Debut: 2013

Headlining this roster for a second year running, Ryota Sakagami of SMBC Nikko Securities is “very good at crunching quantitative data to back up his macro qualitative thesis” and “always comes up with fresh ideas on how to view the market,” one asset manager reports. Another investor marvels that the strategist, 38, conducted more than 1,000 presentations for his clients last year. In surveying the potential impacts of the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy, which has been in effect since mid-February, Sakagami projects that domestic financial institutions will shift allocations away from Japanese government bonds toward riskier assets like foreign sovereigns or high-yield credits, while companies will put excess cash toward capital expenditures and other such purposes. He is bearish on domestic stocks for the first half of the year, forecasting that the Nikkei 225 Stock Average will be bound within a 16,000 to 19,000 range because the investing community will remain skittish until companies issue their earnings guidances in May. “This will weigh on the Japanese equity market,” he insists. The benchmark rose 9.1 percent last year, outperforming both the S&P 500 and global shares as a whole, both of which closed 2015 relatively flat. But by mid-March the Nikkei had tumbled 12.1 percent, to 16,724.81, lagging its U.S. peers by 12.4 percentage points and stocks around the world by 9.5 percentage points. Once those corporate announcements have been made, however, the researcher expects the index to begin to gain ground. He anticipates that it will end the year at 21,000, helped by an expected recovery of the U.S. economy and projected interest rate hikes there. Against this backdrop, Sakagami favors domestic defensive stocks, especially those with low volatility and high dividend yields. Land transportation, especially railways, together with pharmaceuticals and telecommunications are his preferred sectors.

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