|China International Capital Corp.
First-place appearances: 0
Total appearances: 1
Analyst debut: 2013
Haofei Chen notches his first appearance on this roster in third place — and also is No. 1 for a third consecutive year in Telecommunications. One backer credits the China International Capital Corp. analyst for his “wide industry contacts and on-the-ground observations that help sense the changes in secular trends.” Overall, Chen has a positive view, believing that the nascent nature of the sector’s development is comparable to the Chinese telecommunications industry’s situation a decade ago. Business models are in their early stages, and the government is loosening some regulations and boosting the group’s profile, he explains, while data and smartphone penetration is just starting to grow, and the tariffs on data are still dropping. Furthermore, the total market capitalization for these names is “still small,” he adds. When it comes to stock recommendations, Chen advises that, since the “sector is on the upward trend, any Internet company with good execution may ride on the tide.” His top picks include Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, which owns the WeChat mobile messaging application, among the world’s most-used smartphone apps, and possesses what Chen describes as “a social network better than Facebook.” Also preferred are Beijing-based Phoenix New Media, a television, mobile and Internet news provider that is enjoying advertisement revenue growth as its influence improves; and YY, an online gaming and chat room provider based in Guangzhou that is expanding quickly to all online entertainment businesses, according to Chen. — Carolyn Koo