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The Must Read PSA Weekly Research Round-up: Highlighting Insights into Blockchain / Reports on 1. Inflection points for the Smartphone Industry 2. KDDi (9433 JP) - Is it Hitting Saturation? What about Rakuten's Ambitions? (week to March 9)

PSA Japan Research Round-Up for the week ending 09 March, 2018
Contents at a Glance
The Weekly Comment by Pelham Smithers – Is Blockchain Overhyped?
Blockchain is a subject of great interest to Pelham Smithers, who sees it as offering the capacity to transform Japan's unsatisfactory banking transfer capabilities. In this week's comment, Pelham responds to a paper on blockchain by Nouriel Roubini of NYU's Stern School of Business. 
Reports / Flash Notes Summaries 
1. KDDi (9433 JP): Is it Hitting Saturation? 
2. 2018: An Inflection Point for the Smartphone Industry and Read-Across to the Supply Chain: Highlighting TDK (6762 JP) 
Company / Sector / Thematic Comments 
1. SBI Ripple Asia Moves Deeper into Banking 
2. Rakuten (4755 JP) Enters the Loyalty Points Blockchain Business 
3. 2018: An Inflection Point for the Smartphone Industry 
4. Monster Hunter: World Ships 7.5mil Units 
5. Sony (6758 JP) Should Benefit from the FCC's Decision to Auction 24 / 28GHz Spectrum 
6. Teijin's (3401 JP) Carbon Fiber Gets a Pickup from GM 
7. Sell-off in Dexerials (4980 JP) Could Prove Short-Sighted 
8. Stella Chemifa (4109 JP) to Hike Some Product Prices: Shares Soar 
9. Nitto Denko (6988 JP) Commences Drug Trials for Lung Disease 

10. Showa Denko (4004 JP) Does an About-Face on Managing Shares and Debt 
11. Fujifilm (4901 JP) and Ricoh (7752 JP), Different Paths Toward the Same Goal 
12. Asahi Kasei's (3407 JP) Positive Housing Order Trend Pauses 
13. Might Housing Orders Pick Up in 2018? 
14. Trade Wars: NAFTA, Bourbon and Exemptions 
15. Mitsubishi Motors (7211 JP): Expansion of PHEV Line-up Coming Up 
16. Toyota (7203 JP) Will No Longer Offer Diesel Cars in Europe 
17. US Lawsuit Against Toyota (7203 JP) Claims Cars Built with Kobe Steel (5406 JP) Materials Are Not Safe 
18. Media Report: Nissan (7201 JP) to buy stake in Renault from French Government? 
19. Yaskawa (6506 JP) to Supply Chinese Robot Makers; A Different Strategy to that of Fanuc (6954 JP) 
20. KHI (7012 JP) Still Falling from Grace 
21. Start Today (3092 JP) Has Suffered Due to Uncertainty of ZOZO's Progress 
22. LINE (3938 JP) Launches LINE Wallet 
23. A 5G Wireless Stepping Stone: US FCC Auctioning 24 / 28GHz Spectrum9 
24. Eisai (4523 JP) in Massive Merck Deal 
PSA Company Visits, Tours and Interviews 
• Meetings with KHI (7012 JP), NOK (7240 JP) 
• Conference calls with Toray (3402 JP), Showa Denko (4004 JP), Fujifilm Holdings (4901 JP) 
• One on one meetings with Nissha (7915 JP), Sekisui Chemical (4204 JP) 
• Pelham Smithers has been marketing in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo over these past two weeks 

Weekly Market Comment by Pelham Smithers 
Is Blockchain Overhyped? 
Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, has published a damning appraisal of blockchain, which can be found at https://goo.gl/1EpkhG . Claiming that blockchain is one of the most overhyped technologies ever, he posits that: 
1. Often what is claimed to be a blockchain is just the running of a software application that is replicated across many devices. 
2. Blockchain verification makes them slow and heavy energy consumers. 
3. Claims of blockchain disintermediation – eg replacing cloud computing – are in many cases far-fetched............
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