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Industries: Conglomerates

The 2010 All-China Research Team Rankings Released

Christie Ju

Christie Ju BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research

The buy side says: “Her coverage of conglomerates is excellent.”

Capturing the top spot is Christie Ju of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. “She has great contacts at the companies and good relations with management,” says one appreciative investor. Ju, 41, earned an MBA in 1997 at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, and worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and then as a China conglomerates analyst at J.P. Morgan before joining Merrill Lynch in 2007.

Clients hail her spot-on bullish call on China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. Ju recommended the stock in May 2009, at HK$19.88, forecasting that the Hong Kong–based diversified manufacturing and shipping conglomerate would benefit from rising demand for exports. The stock had surged to HK$24.30 by the end of May 2010, a 22.2 percent gain that edged past the sector by 1.8 percentage points.

Second Team

Man Chuen (Benjamin) Lo Nomura

Man Chuen (Benjamin) Lo of Nomura snares second-place honors thanks in part to his attention to detail in assessing valuations: “He does a great job of breaking conglomerates into their individual parts,” explains one fund manager. In December the analyst highlighted his buy rating on Beijing Enterprises Holdings, telling clients that the Hong Kong–headquartered concern, which comprises consumer businesses and public utilities, would enjoy “high quality growth” at its gas-­transmission unit. By the end of May, the stock had outpaced the sector by 15.2 percentage points.

Third Team

Simon Cheung Goldman Sachs (Asia)

Simon Cheung finishes third. In December the Goldman Sachs (Asia) analyst upgraded Cosco Pacific to buy, on valuation, arguing that an expected recovery would result in greater port activity and growth in demand at its container-terminal and freight-shipping operations. Shares of the Hong Kong–based transportation services provider outperformed the sector by 10.7 percentage points through May. Cheung “always demonstrates discipline in making calls and doesn’t get carried away by sentiment,” observes one buy-side enthusiast.

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