Securities firms' presidents positive on outlook

Top executives of major Japanese securities firms remain bullish on the stock market, despite a gloomy start to the year on the first day of trading. They are projecting share prices will pick up on the back of strong corporate earnings.

Okuda Kentaro, President and Group CEO of Nomura Holdings, said "Inflation is expected to peak and taper out. The Nikkei Average may fall to around 25,500 points at the start of this year. But I expect it to recover, possibly up to 31,000."

Nakata Seiji, President and CEO of Daiwa Securities Group, said "Japan is projected to achieve the fastest economic growth among the Group of Seven nations. The year started in an unstable environment, but the economy is likely to grow moderately."

Nakata added that companies are likely to enjoy brisk performance in the fiscal year that starts in April. He says that the Nikkei Average has the potential to recover to 33,000.