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Moody’s Investors Service said Monday the credit outlook this year for Japanese securities firms it monitors is stable, based on better economic growth and a pickup in individual investment, which it says will mitigate earnings volatility.

Continued deregulation in the securities industry, while intensifying competition, should be a plus for brokerages because market participants stand to benefit from relaxed trading rules, according to the rating agency’s latest report: “2006 Japan Securities Industry Outlook.”

“Japan has been enjoying a gradual move toward a normalized economy over the past 12 months, with positive GDP growth, a continuing recovery in corporate profitability and a foreseeable end to deflation,” said the report’s author, analyst Elisabeth Rudman.