Country & Regions – Taiwan: Third

Sheng-Jung (Robert) Cheng, Chuan-Hsiang (Katherine) Hu & team
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch spent the past two years in the runner-up position. This year the Taipei-based team of eight advances to third place under the direction of Sheng-Jung (Robert) Cheng, who also captains a runner-up crew in Technology/Hardware, and newcomer Chuan-Hsiang (Katherine) Hu. “They are a truly independent voice — especially strong in technology,” observes one satisfied client. With a coverage universe of 90 companies and growing, the analysts astutely downgraded HTC Corp. from neutral to underperform in June, at 373.27 Taiwan dollars, on concerns about soft demand and shipping delays. By late April shares of the Taoyuan City–based smartphone maker tumbled 19.4 percent, to NT$301, and trailed Taiwan’s broad market by 35.7 percentage points. Looking ahead, the group likes Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. — the New Taipei City–based computer builder better known as Foxconn — thanks to its increased efficiencies, Cheng says. — Ben Mattlin