HK's star stock-picker revises market target

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am

Lee Shau-kee picks stocks pretty well for a 79-year-old grandpa who spends his mornings in massage and meditation. And Mr Lee says the market isn't going to climb quite as fast as he once thought.

As he has done with increasing frequency, the Henderson Land Development chairman has again changed his targets for the market, now predicting the blue-chip index will hit 30,000 around the Lunar New Year and 33,000 in the autumn. He toned down his predictions after the monetary tightening and credit crisis tripped up the market. His earlier targets were 30,000 by year end and 33,000 by the Lunar New Year.

The Hang Seng Index yesterday closed at 26,732.87, down more than 16 per cent from its October highs.

This is his seventh market prediction since August, and while his accuracy has made him a favourite with the punters he also allows himself the flexibility to move the target when market sentiment is clearly running against him.

Mr Lee, popularly known as Uncle Four (he's the fourth son), made his new forecasts as today's edition of Next Magazine named him their Man of the Year for the second year running. And why not, given that the property tycoon has become a star stock-picker whose predictions are eagerly awaited by investors and can spark a market rally.

Mr Lee's latest favourites are companies focused on energy and finance, namely CNOOC, China Shenhua Energy, China Merchants Bank and China Life Insurance.

And you can be assured Mr Lee made those picks while clear of mind and free of stress. Company sources say the tycoon spends six hours on massage, exercise and meditation every morning before going to work in the afternoon, leaving him healthy and full of energy late into the night.

Mr Lee emerged as a market sage after he launched his private investment firm Shau Kee Financial Enterprises in 2004. Starting with HK$50 billion in the market, his investment has now grown to HK$200 billion, according to a company source.