The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: Consumer, No. 2: Karim Salamatian, He (Kevin) Yin & team
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The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: Consumer, No. 2: Karim Salamatian, He (Kevin) Yin & team

Karim Salamatian, He (Kevin) Yin & team

Credit Suisse

First-place appearances: 5

Total appearances: 13

Team debut: 2000

Under the stewardship of Karim Salamatian and He (Kevin) Yin, Credit Suisse’s team of 16 consumer analysts steps up one position to No. 2, marking the firm’s best showing since 2008. They monitor 146 names — an increase of 16 over the past year — and plan to expand their sector portfolio by about ten stocks per year going forward. “The team is objective,” insists one investor, “especially when their sector is lacking in opportunities.” The region’s consumer shares jumped 12.5 percent over the 12 months through late April, besting the broader market by 8.7 percentage points, and Salamatian describes his team as “cautiously optimistic.” Macro weakness and uncertainty will likely lead to a more volatile consumption environment, he notes. “Competition continues to rise, so stock selection is critical at this juncture, where the emphasis needs to be on strong management teams with discernible competitive advantage.” Among the names that the researchers believe fit that bill is Luxembourg-registered luggage maker Samsonite International, a longtime favorite whose shares trade in Hong Kong. They soared 32.2 percent in the year through late April, closing at HK$25.15. Other companies that boast “deep and wide moats,” as Salamatian says, are Hong Kong–based China Mengniu Dairy Co., the country’s largest milk producer; and Universal Robina Corp., a market-leading packaged foods manufacturer that is headquartered in the Philippines.

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