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CLSA Hires Altherr, Formerly of Lehman, as Analyst in Tokyo

July 18 (Bloomberg) -- CLSA Securities Japan Co. hired Walter Altherr as a non-banks financial analyst in Tokyo, according to Gary Hopkinson, country head of the brokerage.

Altherr, 53, wrote “Bid Only,” a Wall Street thriller set in Tokyo, and previously covered consumer finance companies at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in Japan. In 2008, he stopped covering consumer lender Aiful Corp. after the Japanese company threatened to sue Lehman when Altherr called it “arguably insolvent.” Lehman stopped coverage of Japan’s consumer lenders and retracted research on the industry.

CLSA hired Altherr “to strengthen our breadth of coverage. It is an area where we had a hole,” Hopkinson said in an e-mail. “With the current interest in the Japanese stock market, this sector is becoming increasingly more attractive to global investors.”

The Topix index has surged more than 40 percent this year to become the world’s best performing major equity benchmark, on optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan will beat 15 years of deflation. The Topix Securities Index tracking the nation’s brokerages has surged 74 percent year-to-date, the best performing of the 33 Topix sub-sectors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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