The 2014 All-China Research Team: Energy, No. 1: Bin Guan


< The 2014 All-China Research Team


Bin GuanChina International
Capital Corp.First-Place Appearances: 3

Total Appearances: 4

Analyst Debut: 2011It’s three years in a row in first place for Bin Guan of China International Capital Corp. The 40-year-old analyst follows some 20 to 25 Chinese energy companies from his base in Hong Kong and continues to endear himself to clients by providing “prompt information that’s always helpful,” as one fund manager puts it. Two names the analyst has favored over the past year are China Gas Holdings and PetroChina Co. In November 2013, Guan restated his long-standing buy rating on Hong Kong’s China Gas, which owns and manages natural-gas pipelines, largely because of its exposure to northern China, where replacement of coal-fired boilers with gas-burning ones was accelerating. On the same day he upgraded Beijing-based integrated-oil giant PetroChina Co. from accumulate to buy, at HK$8.59. He expected a macroeconomic upswing and efficiency improvements from officially sanctioned reform of state-owned enterprises to boost performance. Sure enough, the stock climbed as high as HK$11.40 in early September before being dragged back to HK$9.84 in late October, when plunging oil prices led Guan to downgrade PetroChina to hold. The shares’ 14.6 percent gain over the period bested China’s energy shares broadly by 18.3 percent. As of late November they were down 11.6 percent, at HK$8.70, against the sector’s loss of 8.2 percent. China Gas, meanwhile, has soared, rising 54.3 percent from his reiteration through late last month, to HK$13.38, and besting its peers by 65.9 percentage points. Going forward, Guan prefers “city gas companies,” he says, thanks in part to their “strong operating cash flows.” The analyst “has good local connections,” offers another admirer, “which is especially important for international investors like us.”