Credit Suisse Group AG, the second-biggest Swiss bank, plans to expand Japanese stock coverage by 25 percent this year in a bid to catch up with foreign rivals.
Credit Suisse aims to increase equity research in Japan to 285 companies from 227 by Dec. 31, adding businesses in industries including automobile parts, the Internet, medical devices, food, consumer products and retail, said Tim Shanagher, who became the bank’s head of Japan equity research in May.
Credit Suisse has lost at least four equity employees in Japan in the past 12 months, and its ranking among research firms in the country slipped one spot to eighth, an Institutional Investor survey showed in April. Credit Suisse sees “great value” in doing business in Japan, where companies have accumulated cash reserves to invest and pursue takeovers, Shanagher said.
“This paints a picture of us, not actually looking at shrinking, but actually looking at re-establishing our position in Japan,” Shanagher, 47, said. “To compete with the top five foreign banks in Tokyo you have to have a certain critical mass.”
His plan to recover ground in Japan comes after Credit Suisse said last month it will cut about 2,000 jobs worldwide to save costs.
BNP Paribas SA, France’s largest bank, in July hired Credit Suisse’s Kunihiko Kanno as cohead of equity research in Japan. The French bank also recruited Shun Maruyama from Credit Suisse to head equity strategy.
The Swiss bank is also looking for a Japanese banking industry analyst to replace Shinichi Ina, who resigned in July. An equity strategist and Internet analyst have signed contracts to join the firm, and the bank will soon disclose their names, Shanagher said.
Bank of America Corp. jumped to top spot among equity research firms in Japan, up from 11th place a year earlier, according to Institutional Investor. Credit Suisse was eighth overall and sixth among foreign firms in Japan, trailing UBS AG, Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, MUFG Securities Co. and Deutsche Bank AG.
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