BNP Expands Japan Equity Business With Traders, Analysts

BNP Paribas S.A. said it hired two traders and will add two analysts to ramp up coverage of Japanese equities, the best performing among developed markets this year even after dropping from recent highs.

With the new hires, France’s biggest bank now has three staff for facilitation trading in Tokyo, Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Ltd., said in an interview yesterday. A consumer analyst is due to start July 1 and a technology analyst will join Aug. 13, although Okazawa declined to name the new personnel, saying the facilitation team is still developing. Yukiko Kishino, a spokeswoman based in Tokyo, today said a real estate analyst was also hired in May.

Japanese stocks will regain upward momentum as a U.S. economic recovery drives up Treasury yields and weakens the yen, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to strengthen and deliver his growth strategy, or the “third arrow” of his policy package, Okazawa said. He has added about 30 staff in Japan since joining the bank from Credit Suisse Group AG in March 2011.

“Whether Abenomics will succeed or not, Japanese stocks will undertake a structural recovery with the U.S. economic recovery,” Okazawa said. “If the third arrow comes on top of that, Japanese equities will surge.”

Okazawa said he expects the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to climb as high as 18,000 by the end of this year, up 38 percent from yesterday’s close. The measure has gained 26 percent this year after slumping 16 percent from this year’s high on May 22.

In March, Okazawa said the bank hired Mattia Ciancaleoni from Citigroup Inc. as a senior equity salesman and Hiroaki Iwasa from Deutsche Bank AG to sell stocks to institutional investors.

BNP Paribas plans to expand its corporate and investment banking operations in Asia, as well as its investment solutions operations in the region. The Paris-based lender is seeking annual revenue growth in those businesses of 12 percent to more than 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) by 2016, it said in February. BNP Paribas plans to add about 1,300 staff in Asia by the end of 2016, Kishino said.

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