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The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: China, No. 1: David Cui, Ting Lu & team


David Cui,
Ting Lu & team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
First-Place Appearances: 3

Total Appearances: 10

Team Debut: 1994

It’s three years in a row at No. 1 for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, whose 40-strong team is now co-headed by equity strategist David Cui, 46, and newcomer Ting Lu, 39, an economist. Cui’s co-captain the past two years, Thomas Wong, joined Credit Suisse in July. Based primarily in Hong Kong, with several analysts in Shanghai, this crew maintains coverage on some 300 names and is characterized by one hedge fund manager as “brilliant, insightful, the full package — with a deep understanding.” In December they cautioned investors that excessive corporate debt would exert pressure on market performance. However, citing catalysts that position them to withstand the stress, the team reiterated its buy ratings on Byd Co., a Shenzhen-based automaker that also supplies batteries for mobile phones; and Hong Kong–headquartered CSPC Pharmaceutical Group, which produces generic drugs. Byd was enjoying strong growth in its smartphone unit, they noted, and CSPC would benefit from an increase in government funding for medical insurance. By late April, while China’s broad market had slipped 8.8 percent, the shares had advanced by 23.8 percent, to 46.14 yuan, and 33.3 percent, to HK$6.68, respectively. This year, Cui also co-leads, with Ajay Kapur, the No. 1 Equity Strategy squad. Lu joined BofA Merrill in 2006, upon earning a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the same subject from Beijing’s Peking University. “During times of indecision — like almost always,” another advocate offers, these analysts “provide the necessary insight to help us arrive at the proper conclusion.”


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