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The 2013 All-China Research Team: Public Utilities, First: Pierre Lau

Pierre Lau
First-place appearances: 4

Total appearances: 4

Analyst debut: 2010

Champion for a fourth year running, Citi’s Pierre Lau is “the dean of renewable energy,” according to one fund manager. The 43-year-old researcher monitors 20 stocks and, according to another fan, “has unmatched experience and connections to government and industry sources.” Among Lau’s current top picks are Beijing’s Huaneng Renewables Corp., a wind-power developer; Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., an Urumqi-based manufacturer of wind generators; and ENN Energy Holdings, a natural-gas distributor based in Langfang. The reason? “Clean energy development is endorsed by the [People’s Republic of China] government for environmental protection and emissions cuts,” he explains. In May, Lau predicted that, to offset its support for renewable energy, that same administration would alter its tariffs on coal companies in a way that would eat into their profits. Accordingly, he downgraded Beijing-based coal-powered electricity provider Huadian Power International Corp. from buy to sell, at HK$4.48, which was the high point for the stock since autumn 2007. The tariff changes followed in October, and by the end of that month, shares of the independent power producer had dropped 19.6 percent since his May downgrade, to HK$3.60, while the sector was off 1.5 percent. — Ben Mattlin

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