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Japanese stocks shine at Hong Kong’s Sohn conference

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Japanese stocks were the highlight at the annual Sohn Hong Kong Investment Leaders Conference, as well as those from South Korea and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second largest metals and mining company. 

Reuters reported that the conference, which features investment pitches from 14 prominent funds, saw a strong preference for Japanese companies, particularly those in outsourcing, robotics and pharmaceuticals. In stark contrast, only two funds pitched Chinese stocks, down from seven last year. 

Seth Fischer, founder and CIO of Oasis Management, focused on Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, which recently recalled health supplement products linked to five deaths and over a hundred hospitalisations, Bloomberg reported. David Mitchinson, founding partner at Zennor Asset Management, recommended HR and business support services provider Transcosmos; Taro Hirano, president of Japan Catalyst, named Dai Nippon Printing; while Toby Rodes, co-founder of Kaname Capital, highlighted Proto Corp, a second-hand car listing platform. 

South Korea was also on the hedge fund agenda, with Eashwar Krishnan of Tybourne Capital Management predicting that Samsung Electronics’ share price could more than double in the next three years, driven by the growing adoption of AI. Chris Wang, a founding partner of CloudAlpha Capital Management, chose HD Hyundai Electric due to his belief that electricity distributors and equipment makers like Hyundai Electric will benefit from the AI boom, while Darren Kang, co-founder of Life Asset Management, highlighted DN Automotive, arguing that its share price could potentially double. 

Shifting to other regions, James Smith, founder of Palliser Capital, which has invested around $180m in Rio Tinto, proposed that the mining multinational abandon its primary listing in London and unify its corporate structure in Australia, the latter of which would eliminate the “long-standing share price distortion”. 

Meanwhile, Aaron Stern, managing partner at Converium Capital, noted that Ecuador’s sovereign bonds were trading at significant discounts compared to peers, highlighting the country’s new administration’s economic changes and social reforms, as well as previous debt restructuring. 

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