Investment banker Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) has raised its investment recommendation for mainland stocks while lowering those for Taiwanese counterparts. Some market-watchers see the move as an attempt to salvage its standing for future investment banking deals in the mainland. The recommendation comes in the wake of the dumping of CSFB from the proposed list of underwriters on a lucrative China Unicom share offering. The company denied the speculation about its motive. 'We dismiss any speculation that the two [issues] are associated,' said Josephine Lee, an official with Zurich-based CSFB. 'Our research operation is independent. Our allocation changes all the time and the changes involve not just China and Taiwan.' In a research report dated last Monday, CSFB said it had lowered Taiwan's rating from 'overweight' to 'underweight'. It raised China's and Singapore's ratings from 'underweight' to 'neutral'. The ratings were given with regard to the widely followed Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) indices' constituent stocks. CSFB's previous 'overweight' rating on Taiwan was built on a neutral position on its technology sector and an overweight position on the financial sector. CSFB said the downgrade on Taiwan was due to its heavy exposure to the technology sector, which it believes will probably underperform the regional economy in the next three to six months. 'With nearly 60 per cent of Taiwan being in the [IT sector], our overweight position becomes untenable, however much we may like the restructuring story in the financial sector,' the report said. Discussing China, CSFB said the 27 per cent fall in the MSCI China index since late April had 'corrected much of the valuation anomaly'. 'In our view, the risk to our heavily underweight position in China has risen substantially with the fall in the market,' it said. Other investment banks have also varied recommendations. A poll by Business Post yesterday of five international investment banks found two underweight, two neutral and one overweight ratings on China, while Taiwan received two overweight, two neutral and one underweight rating. China Unicom said on Wednesday 'keen competition among bidders', led to CSFB being taken off the 'preliminary' short list of finalists for underwriting roles in a forthcoming share offering for its planned acquisition of 18 provincial mobile-phone networks.