2016 All-Asia Research Team: Technology/Semiconductors, No. 1: Randy Abrams, Manish Nigam & team
After three consecutive runner-up appearances, Credit Suisse’s regional semiconductors crew vaults to first place, toppling the Bank of America Merrill Lynch squad, which was No. 1 for five years and now tumbles to runner-up.
Randy Abrams, Manish Nigam & team
First-Place Appearances: 4
Total Appearances: 14
Team Debut: 1999
After three consecutive runner-up appearances, Credit Suisse’s regional semiconductors crew vaults to first place, toppling the Bank of America Merrill Lynch squad, which was No. 1 for five years and now tumbles to runner-up. Credit Suisse last occupied this winner’s circle in 2002, before co-captains Randy Abrams and Manish Nigam assumed leadership. Abrams joined the firm in 1999, armed with a master’s degree in accounting from the Olin Graduate School at Massachusetts’ Babson College and a bachelor’s in finance and international business from Pennsylvania State University. The 41-year-old researcher is stationed in Taipei and also directs coverage of Taiwan equities, shepherding his crew to a runner-up position on that roster. From his base in Hong Kong, Nigam, 45, also oversees the second-place group on the Hardware lineup and co-captains, with Anantha Narayan, the No. 3 team in IT Services & Software. Apart from an 18-month stint at Sansar Capital, an Asia-focused hedge fund, he has been with Credit Suisse since 1997. He previously worked at CLSA and holds a postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, as well as a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. The firm’s seven semiconductors researchers, who together track more than 30 names in the region, are “always the most diligent and hardworking bunch in digging for facts and presenting analysis to global investors,” lauds one money manager. Last autumn they upgraded their ratings on several suppliers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., “due to improving market share, rising cash yields and the cyclical benefit from leaner chip inventory,” explains Abrams. TSMC, in particular, is expected to sustain its advantage over its peers and improve its share of U.S. consumer electronics giant Apple’s business, Nigam adds. They have also stayed positive on Samsung Electronics Co., advising that the South Korean company is effectively maintaining leadership across its business areas, securing strong margins for memory and stabilizing those for handsets. Moreover, it has potential earnings drivers from 3-D NAND storage penetration and the active-matrix displays used, for example, in its Galaxy smartphones.