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Capital Markets

Equities: SWS gains from demand for China research

Broker translates Chinese analysts’ thoughts; Coverage from chicken feet to Smart Grid

The market for importing chicken feet to China, where they are considered a delicacy, from the US, where they are mostly dismissed as a waste product, is worth some $400 million a year. US-sourced chicken feet are particularly savoured by Chinese diners, says Dan Weil, because the growth hormones fed to the unfortunate birds result in larger, and therefore more appetizing, webs.

The market attracted some attention in 2009 after it was the subject of a mini trade war between the two countries but Weil thinks it’s an interesting example of one of the many China-related businesses not well understood outside the country. Weil’s pitch, as head of north America equity sales for Shenyin Wanguo Securities (HK), is that as the Hong Kong arm of China’s biggest domestic broker he can help investors understand what the Chinese are thinking about their own country.

Key driver

To that end Weil, a former head of Greater China for US investment bank and brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald with a major in Chinese and an MBA from Columbia University, was hired two years ago by Chinese broker Shenyin Wanguo Securities to build the firm’s Hong Kong presence and in particular its offshore institutional sales.

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