The Local Brokers Dominating Asia Research
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The Local Brokers Dominating Asia Research

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Macquarie leads a group of top firms in II’s ranking of local firms and analysts in the Asia-Pacific region

While thirty organizations comprised the Local Broker tables of Institutional Investor’s 2024 All-Asia Research rankings, a top cadre of firms dominated the results.

II recognized the top ranked local firms and analysts within each of the 12 Asia-Pacific countries and regions, including frontier markets, based on the feedback of nearly 2,000 portfolio managers representing more than 700 institutions.

The winner this year was Macquarie, with 28 positions (recognized as a 1st through 5th place) as well as the greatest number of ranked analysts across the countries and regions with 41.

CLSA took second place with 26 while Nomura placed third with 15. CGS International captured fourth with 13, and Jefferies and HSBC tied for fifth place with 12 positions each.

Christina Lee, head of Asia Content (Research and Sales) for Macquarie Capital, credited a change the firm’s approach as a differentiator this year. “We have changed our content strategy in the past year as we moved towards deepening expertise in key sector verticals across Asia, in addition to our long-standing country insights,” she said, adding that the firm’s focus areas include technology & software, energy transition & commodities, consumer and healthcare.

The region itself is evolving as well and investors must have an understanding of the whole value chain as opposed to being solely country specialists. “Traditionally, APAC investors had advantages understanding different sectors in the same countries, given geopolitics and different stages of economic developments amongst the countries,” Lee said. “However, this has changed in recent years. Industries started developing across the whole region, and understanding the whole value chain in depth is critical for successful investments today.” She cited the AI value chain, for example. It is necessary to look at Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan as well as Malaysia together rather than just being a country specialist.

“Macquarie is consciously pushing our research in this direction. We are present in all Asian countries to offer our local expertise, and nimble and agile enough to move quick and collaborate without having to go through multiple layers of management hierarchy,” she concluded. “We aim to provide the most interesting, thought-provoking research in Asia – the kind that investors want to read out of intellectual curiosity not just for investment ideas.”

At HSBC—with 23 ranked analysts this year—“change is constant but we focus on what stays the same—generating client value with high quality insights, ideas and connectivity from our experienced team of analysts, while also growing our own talent,” according to Eliot Camplisson, co-head of global research, Asia-Pacific, for the firm.

HSBC Global Research’s Nine Themes drive its thematic content, breaking down sector and country silos, according to Camplisson, in addition to HSBC’s longstanding commitment to China, and growth in India and ASEAN. “Our focus recently has been responding to Asian investors adopting an increasingly global outlook, so we have grown our US coverage from Asia and the rest of the world,” he concluded.

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