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Country & Regions – South Korea: First

Bryan Song
& team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
"Bryan’s team is the most knowledgeable in Seoul."

Bryan Song, 43, guides Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 15-member troupe to a third straight first-place finish; the Seoul-based leader also co-captains, with Yi (Winnie) Wu, the top-ranked team in Banks. The analysts report on 90 companies and are hailed for “timely, on-the-ground knowledge,” as one New York–based money manager puts it. They highlighted their buy rating on Samsung Electronics Co. in March 2012, at 1.258 million won, in part on growing demand for the Suwon-based outfit’s chipsets and display panels. (They upgraded the shares from neutral to buy way back in July 2009, at 595,408.70 won.) By late April 2013 the stock had surged 20.9 percent, to 1.52 million won, since the reiteration. In June the researchers pounded the table on LG Electronics, at 64,500 won, owing to rising demand for the Seoul-based manufacturer’s energy-efficient air conditioners, among other factors. The stock had shot to 88,100 won by the end of April, posting a 36.6 percent advance that bested South Korea’s broad market by 30.4 percentage points. — Ben Mattlin

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