Hutchison Whampoa

European exposure hits Esprit, Hutchison

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 September, 2011, 12:00am

Esprit Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, Hong Kong's top two companies in terms of revenue exposure to Europe, both hit 52-week lows yesterday as the continent's debt crisis continued to cast its pall.

Esprit was ranked the 'least preferred' stock in Asia by Morgan Stanley in a research report. The clothing retailer has 79.1 per cent of its revenue exposed to developed Europe.

Esprit shares fell to a year low of HK$8.13 in trading yesterday, but finished with a loss of 33 HK cents or 3.68 per cent at HK$8.63.

Aaron Fischer, the head of consumer and gaming research at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, said the company's earnings outlook was 'very negative'.

'We are currently trying to figure out the floor in the share price based on the value of the brand and the retail network,' Fischer said.

Hutchison, also heavily exposed to Europe, reached its 52-week low of HK$59.65. It closed HK$3.05 or 4.84 per cent lower at HK$59.95.

However, Morgan Stanley, together with other major investment banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, kept their 'overweight' position on the stock.

Market sources said it was becoming very difficult to gauge stock price targets because of high volatility in global markets.