Graham Cunningham Citi
The buy side says: Graham is unbiased, independent and unafraid to take a stand.
Citis Graham Cunningham wins the top prize. Money managers laud the 36-year-old analyst for his January 2009 reiteration of his long-standing buy on China National Offshore Oil Corp., at HK$6.06, on the belief that the Hong Kongbased integrated-oil and natural-gas producers cost-cutting initiatives would boost profitability. Sure enough, as Chinas economy recovered, CNOOCs shares shot to HK$12.46, through May 2010, a jaw-dropping 105.6 percent gain that beat the sector by 22.1 percentage points.
Cunningham moved to Citi from J.P. Morgan in 2006; he earned a bachelors degree in accounting and finance at Canadas University of Manitoba in 1996. Grahams approach is driven by solid fundamental research, explains one client. More importantly, he also understands the top-down policy goals of Chinas regulators and their impact on stocks.
Cheng Khoo Nomura
In second place is Nomuras Cheng Khoo, who focuses on whats relevant, cheers one buy-side enthusiast. Last July, Khoo turned negative on China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., commonly referred to as Sinopec, and warned investors that government-imposed price reductions would have a negative impact on the Beijing-based petroleum producers earnings in the near term. She did not downgrade the stock, though, because she believed it was competitively positioned for the long term. However, rising crude oil prices prompted her to downgrade Sinopec from buy to neutral in January, at HK$6.65. The shares had slipped 6.9 percent, to HK$6.19, by the end of May.
Thomas Wong BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research
Thomas Wong of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research finishes in third place. Wong reinstated coverage of PetroChina Co. last July with a neutral rating, deeming shares of the Beijing-based integrated energy company and Chinas largest oil producer to be fully valued at HK$8.34. In December, with the stock up 17 percent, to HK$9.76, he reiterated the rating, arguing that company profits were constrained by its high gas-import costs. By late May the share price had tumbled 12.6 percent since Wongs reiteration, to HK$8.53. He was the first to understand the natural-gas dynamics, marvels one backer.
Wing Lok (Gordon) Kwan Mirae Asset Securities; Hong Ki (Chris) Shiu Goldman Sachs (Asia)
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View the complete results of the 2010 All-China Research Team Rankings