JPMorgan says Hong Kong shares to rebound in February and names 5 stocks to own

JPMorgan named five stocks it recommends to buy amid an expected rise in the broader Chinese stock market during February. The investment bank said it “remains bullish” on Macao casino operator Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment, and Hong Kong retail landlords Wharf REIC, LINK and Fortune REIT. Strategists at the Wall Street bank attributed last week’s sell-off in Hong Kong listed shares as profit-taking by some investors. They also said the broader market rotate into “quality laggards in consumption as well as value cyclical and growth spaces.” The Hang Seng sold off by 3.2% over the last five trading days in January, although the index was up by more than 10% for the month. .HSI 5D line “We see China equities … grinding higher in February post the end January sell-off,” said JPMorgan strategists led by Wendy Liu in a note to clients on Feb. 1. “Some investors appear willing to hold till mid- 2023’s growth peak … while others note that selected stocks have had strong runs on the re-open theme and are keen to lock in gains and rotate into quality laggards in consumption as well as value cyclical and growth spaces.” Equity analyst and head of Asian gaming, DS Kim, in a separate note on Feb. 1 said Macau’s demand was recovering “right off the gate” since Beijing relaxed its “zero-Covid” policies. Gross gaming revenue more than tripled compared to last year despite a lack of high-rollers and the Lunar New Year holidays, according to Kim. He also said revenues had recovered to 60-70% of their pre-Covid levels. “We remain comfortably bullish on the sector, as we view current valuations of ~12x normalized EV/EBITDA as attractive vs 13x midcycle or 15-16x up-cycle historically,” Kim said. 599-FF 1Y line Equity analysts’ median price target polled by FactSet points toward an 11% upside over the next 12 months for Sands China. The company’s stock has fallen by more than 10% over the past two years since the authorities in Beijing prevented travel to Macao. Meanwhile, the consensus price target for Galaxy Entertainment points toward just a 1% upside. However, JPMorgan’s Kim said analysts’ expectations are due to jump higher on the positive data points. “One thing seems very clear to us: the Street estimates will have to go up substantially for 1Q23 (which we think are at around 35-40% recovery for mass) and FY23 (about 60% mass recovery vs. 2019), in our view,” he added.

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