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HomemarketsA cheaper yuan actually boosts these HK stocks

A cheaper yuan actually boosts these HK stocks

Hong Kong has been singled out as one of the biggest losers from a depreciating renminbi but while the currency's devaluation has hit the Hang Seng Index hard, there are still plenty of beneficiaries out there.

In a new report, Barclays identified 18 Hong Kong-listed companies with an overweight (OW) or equal weight (EW) rating that are expected to see positive earnings impact from a weaker Chinese currency.

"For most sectors, a weaker renminbi is generally negative for earnings," Barclays analysts said, a fact mirrored by the Hang Seng's 10 percent decline in the two weeks since Beijing devalued the yuan.

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"Only the oil and gas, oilfield services and technology sectors would be expected to see positive earnings sensitivity."

Out of the 18 on Barclays' list, 7 are tech-focused and 7 are oil-related. Among the most high-profile names were Lenovo, AAC Technologies, CNOOC, Sinopec, PetroChina, and China Oilfield Services.

The bulk of balance sheet assets in sectors like technology and oilfield services aren't denominated in reminbi, making them less exposed to the currency, Barclays explained. For example, 61 percent of tech assets were denominated in U.S. dollars or Hong Kong dollars at the end of 2014, compared to only 0.8 percent for the auto sector or 9 percent for consumer staples.

So if the renminbi were to weaken further to 6.5 per dollar, from 6.4 currently, technology companies would get a 1.63 percent boost in 2015 earnings-per-share impact while oil and gas firms would rise 2.4 percent, versus a more than 5 percent slump for the internet and infrastructure sectors.


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