David Cui BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research
The buy side says: “David’s research tells me what is happening on the ground.”
David Cui of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research climbs one rung to finish on top for the first time. “His more skeptical views contrast with the majority of his peers’ — I go to him for a reality check,” says one buy-side admirer. Cui was one of only a few strategists to take a bearish view on China in the spring of 2010: “We were among the first to warn the market of risks related to local government funding vehicles, the property bubble, inflation and the government’s intention to redistribute income,” he recalls. In April 2010 he urged clients to underweight China relative to the rest of Asia ex-Japan, and he was right: By the end of April 2011, China trailed the region by 8.2 percentage points. However, after a market rout in May 2010, Cui advised clients to buy on the dip. Among the companies he recommended were China National Materials Co., a Beijing-based engineering-services provider, and Agile Property Holdings, a developer headquartered in Zhongshan, Guangdong. By the end of April, China National shares had rocketed 78.4 percent and Agile’s had soared 50.8 percent. During the same period the broad market gained 16.9 percent. Cui, 43, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Australia’s University of New South Wales in 1992; he covered Chinese equities for Indosuez W.I. Carr Securities in Hong Kong before joining BofA in 1999.