Investors Turned to These Research Firms as Japan Entered a Recession
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Investors Turned to These Research Firms as Japan Entered a Recession


Daiwa has once again topped II’s 2024 All-Japan Research Team.

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All eyes are on Japan.

The last quarter of 2023 saw Japan officially slip into a recession and lose its mantle as the world’s third-largest economy, bumped down one spot by Germany. But the country is getting the world’s attention as the Nikkei stock index hits highs not seen since 1989 and amid speculation that the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates.

But the market environment in Japan has remained positive, even with the ups and downs, according to the region’s top research providers, and investor interest is strong. “Mainly driven by expectations for changes in the BoJ’s policy, we have seen a surge in interest from overseas investors seeking insights into the Japanese market, particularly around shifts from deflation to inflation,” according to a spokesperson from Nomura Securities in an emailed statement. The past year has been dominated by the BoJ’s policy adjustments, wage and price increases, and measures to overcome deflation.


With all this change, it appears that investors have decided to stick with the same trusted set of research providers in the country, according to Institutional Investor’s annual survey of the top sell-side firms.

Daiwa has once again topped II’s 2024 All-Japan Research Team based on the opinions of more than one thousand directors of research and heads of investment firms representing 436 institutions with major securities holdings in Japan.

There was little to no change further down the leaderboard. Mizuho and SMBC Nikko Securities repeated their second- and third-place finishes. Nomura took fourth, and J.P. Morgan Chase was fifth again. The biggest change was BofA Securities jumping in the rankings from ninth to sixth place.

The team leaderboard was weighted by each respondent’s commissioned spending in Japan. An additional commission-weighted leaderboard that rated individual analysts, economists, and strategists at those same firms was also produced and closely mirrored the overall team rankings.

Nomura credited its research content as a differentiating factor that has kept it among the region’s sought-after providers. “Through our research content, we have highlighted the enduring trends of wage and price hikes, emphasizing the sustainable nature of positive investment environments in Japan,” according to the Nomura spokesperson.

The firm has also launched a “Revisit Japan” campaign that aims to promote sustainable changes in the country. The combined research and sales team effort brings analysts, strategists, and economists for in-person visits with investors outside of Japan to highlight the growth prospects of Japanese companies, the state of the economy as it starts to emerge from ongoing deflation, and the country’s shifting regulatory and political environment.

“Moving forward into 2024, we expect continued demand from clients for quality research with a focus on the evolving geopolitical landscape,” the spokesperson concluded.


Building trust and transparency with both the buy- and sell-side is critical, as is establishing yourself as a strategic partner to the business and C-suite.
BofA Securities is the new global equity research leader, according to II’s annual ranking.
In II’s annual ranking of Global Research Leaders, BofA Securities repeated its second-place finish, followed by Morgan Stanley and UBS.
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