The 2013 All-China Research Team: Autos & Auto Parts, First: Bin Wang

Bin Wang
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch

First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 2

Analyst debut: 2012

Bin Wang leaps from third place to seize top honors for the first time. Institutional Investor was unsuccessful in repeated attempts to contact the analyst, who left Bank of America Merrill Lynch in late October. However, a spokesperson for the firm says Wang favored manufacturers that maintain strong product pipelines and have exposure to such high-growth segments as luxury and sport utility vehicles. One example is Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which operates in the autos, auto parts and services industries and boasts five international joint ventures. Although disappointing results in third-quarter 2012 — including a 58 percent year-over-year decline in net profits, to 357 million yuan ($56 million) — had led Wang to lower his target price for the shares from HK$6 to HK$5.4 that October, he boosted it all the way to HK$10 in June and upgraded the shares from neutral to buy, believing the market was overly pessimistic. The Guangzhou-based manufacturer would post a turnaround in the second half of 2013, he forecast, thanks to the 14 new models it had on deck for the following 18 months, as well as profit margin expansion from its joint venture with Japan’s Honda Motor Co. and decreased losses from three new operations. In September, citing August passenger-vehicle sales growth of 13 percent year over year and 20 percent year to date, he pounded the table. By the time Wang discontinued coverage as he prepared to depart the firm, the shares had jumped 13.4 percent since his June upgrade, to HK$8.61. “Bin’s auto shipment database is one of the best on the Street,” cheers one money manager. “He is the go-to guy whenever I need auto data points.” — Katie Gilbert