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 Universitys 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 Kongbased 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.
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 Kongheadquartered 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.
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 Kongbased transportation services provider outperformed the sector by 10.7 percentage points through May. Cheung always demonstrates discipline in making calls and doesnt get carried away by sentiment, observes one buy-side enthusiast.
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