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Aussie stocks unranked in China winners

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Not one Australian company has made it onto banking giant HSBC's list of stocks that it expects will benefit most from China's booming consumer spending.

A dozen companies across the travel, retail, automotive and technology sectors are listed in a new HSBC report on companies best-placed for exposure to the spending boom under way in China as the ranks of the middle class consumers grow.

But Australian firms missed out, due, HSBC says, to their lack of size and their small exposure to Chinese consumers at present.

HSBC conducted a survey that supported its bullish stance on 12 major travel, retail, auto and tech companies that are listed in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, France and Spain.

On the list are Chinese companies including e-commerce giant Alibaba, web services group Baidu, Spring Airlines, tour operator CYTS, drinks firm Kweichow Moutai and cinema operator Wanda Cinemas.

Hong Kong-based luggage firm Samsonite is on the list, alongside South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronic, cosmetics maker AmorePacific and biopharmaceutical firm Hugel.

Rounding off the 12 are French dairy behemoth Danone and Spanish clothing retailer Inditex, owner the Zara chain.

Travel is still in its infancy in China - which boasts the world's biggest population of 1.36 billion - and bodes well for airlines and travel-related companies, HSBC said.

Chinese consumers are also moving away from traditional shopping to entertainment, e-commerce and healthy living, according to the report, which studied 2,000 young, rich Chinese citizens across major cities.

HSBC's research team was "surprised notably" by the finding that travel, including domestic, was still in its infancy in China.

The bank also noted "the very high regard consumers have for imported goods, the influence of friends in many decisions and the soaring relevance of e-commerce platforms".

The underdeveloped Chinese travel market is an important part of its investment case on CYTS, Spring Airlines and Samsonite.

Korea remains a key destination, which bodes well for South Korea's biggest cosmetics maker AmorePacific and Hugel, HSBC said.

The shift from shopping to entertainment is consistent with HSBC's bullish stance on Wanda Cinemas.

"Enthusiasm and willingness to spend more online is a positive read-across for Alibaba, where people expect to spend even more in the next few years," HSBC said.

HSBC also liked Samsung as its tech pick, saying "smartphone replacement rates appear healthy", despite high penetration rates and limited production differentiation. The report did not mention rival Apple.

On the auto front, HSBC was surprised that brand name wasn't the key factor in car purchases, rather shoppers were focused on exterior and interior designs and performance.

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