The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: Technology/Semiconductors, No. 3: Chia Ao (William) Lu & team
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The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: Technology/Semiconductors, No. 3: Chia Ao (William) Lu & team

Chia Ao (William) Lu & team

Morgan Stanley

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 11

Team debut: 1997

The four-strong Morgan Stanley troupe captained by Chia Ao (William) Lu repeats in third place. Working out of offices in Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei, the analysts win plaudits for having “a very good global perspective,” in the words of one portfolio manager. Asia’s semiconductor names climbed 6.2 percent during the 12 months through late April, besting the region’s broader market by 2.4 percentage points, and Lu says that his group is bullish overall. “The macro environment is stabilizing,” he advises, “stocks are trading at fair valuations, earnings expectations are reasonable, and semiconductor inventory levels have come down over the past few quarters.” Given that demand for smartphones and tablets is shifting from developed nations to emerging markets, Lu and his colleagues recommend that investors switch from higher-end, high-average-selling-price plays into the lower-end, emerging markets-focused and more unit-driven companies. “If you look at just the emerging-markets smartphones, adoption has only just started,” he adds, “and there should be plenty of upside from a unit-growth perspective.”

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