Top Analysts In The All-Japan Research Team Make Audacious Calls
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Top Analysts In The All-Japan Research Team Make Audacious Calls

While some observers worry about Japan entering another lost decade, the best analysts are busy finding opportunities for their clients.

Japan officially tumbled into recession in the fall of 2008. At the time, stock prices were falling, unemployment was rising and the global financial crisis was deepening. Investors must have been shocked when Masatoshi Kikuchi, chief equity strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research in Tokyo, predicted that in 2009 Japanese equities would rally and the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average, which closed 2008 at 8,859.56, would shoot up to 11,000 by the summer of 2009. It was an audacious call, but Kikuchi was pretty much on target: The index topped 10,600 last August, drifted down a bit, then started to rise again; it crossed the 11,000 mark late last month. Portfolio man­agers were impressed and vote Kikuchi No. 1 in Equity Strategy on the 2010 All-Japan Research Team.


[Click here to view The 2010 All-Japan Research Team]


Kikuchi was not alone in looking past the pessimism enveloping Japan’s economy; many analysts on this year’s team made stock recommendations that resulted in double- and even triple-­digit gains — which just goes to show that while some observers worry about Japan entering another lost decade, the best analysts are busy finding opportunities for their clients.


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