The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: China, No. 2: Hong (Helen) Qiao, Ran (Richard) Xu & team
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The 2014 All-Asia Research Team: China, No. 2: Hong (Helen) Qiao, Ran (Richard) Xu & team

Hong (Helen) Qiao, Ran (Richard) Xu & team

Morgan Stanley

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 7

Team debut: 2000

Morgan Stanley leapfrogs from runner-up to second place, recording its best showing to date. Newcomer Ran (Richard) Xu joins Hong (Helen) Qiao in guiding a crew of more than 50 Hong Kong–based researchers that reports on 280 companies. They are “the only China analysts I can rely on,” one fund manager declares, “because they know the local market.” In August the squad reiterated its overweight rating on Hong Kong–based Towngas China Co., a liquefied-petroleum-gas distributor with significant operations on the mainland. The Chinese government’s new investment in an air pollution control program designed to reduce coal consumption would benefit gas purveyors, they advised — and they were right. In March management announced that Towngas’s net profit had jumped 31.6 percent year over year, to HK$1.11 billion ($143.14 million), crediting Beijing’s policy as supportive of its long-term growth. By late April the distributor’s shares had surged 29.3 percent, to HK$9.09, while China’s broad market slipped 2 percent. “Helen’s voice may be soft, but her points are always clear,” reports another advocate. “She is one of the few macro analysts on China that I pay attention to.”

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