IF YOU ARE SEARCHING for money-making Yuletide gifts, stocks could be the ideal stocking filler. But what's hot and what's not? Sunday Money asked four of Hong Kong's top strategists to pick the three scrips they would be happy to receive from Santa's visit. Peter Churchouse, managing director of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, opted for Hongkong and China Gas, Sun Hung Kai Properties along with Asia Satellite Telecommunications. He said Hongkong and China Gas had seen consistent long-term earnings growth, was relatively recession-proof, had acceptable and safe dividend yields, and was expanding into China. As for Sun Hung Kai, he said the company had been a long-term provider of shareholder value, was well managed and was in excellent financial health. He said he had chosen Asia Satellite because the stock was trading well below its fair value and had good longer-term growth potential. 'We think the stock has substantial upside potential in the coming year.' Celestial Asia Securities Holdings (Cash) research head, Herbert Lau Chung-kwan, picked HSBC Holdings, Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong and China Gas. Mr Lau chose HSBC because it was the safest bet for long-term holdings. 'It is one of the best managed companies in Hong Kong.' HSBC has diversified assets with a proven record and its share price has grown considerably during the past decade. As for Hutchison Whampoa, Mr Lau said: 'If you believe in technology, this is the share to buy.' He said Hutchison had strong exposure to third-generation (3G) technology which would reap profits once the technology became more popular. Of his third pick, Mr Lau said Hongkong and China Gas was a solid utility play. The company's share price has risen from HK$2.30 to HK$9.80 in the past decade and it is the best performing stock of the three utilities, the others being CLP Power and Hongkong Electric. 'They will still be able to capture solid organic growth over the next decade on the back of population growth and redevelopment of the city,' Mr Lau said. When asked, Adrian Ngan, head of Hong Kong research at BNP Paribas Peregrine, opted for Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), Johnson Electric and Cofco International. He said KMB's core operations, organic growth and effective cost controls had resulted in stable earnings growth. 'KMB continues to take market share away from the likes of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. We expect KMB to post stellar full-year results with net profit jumping by 63 per cent to HK$1.39 billion [for this year], thanks to the spin-off of RoadShow Holdings and a new advertising revenue stream,' Mr Ngan said. He added that KMB was guaranteed to make a profit on the Lai Chi Kok property project, which could boost KMB's profit by as much as HK$4.4 billion. As for Johnson Electric, Mr Ngan said: 'Johnson Electric will benefit from the economic recovery in the United States and the potential long-term growth in the China market.' Its net profit is expected to grow by 56 per cent between next year and 2004. Mr Ngan's third pick, Cofco International, owns some of China's most well-known trademarks and best-selling brands, as well as having the largest market share in edible oils. The company will benefit from China's accession to the World Trade Organisation and the subsequent reduced import tariffs and quota restraints. Alex Tang Yee-yuk, director of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International, said he would choose Hutchison Whampoa, Digital China and Legend Holdings. He said Digital China was a promising mainland IT firm. It has posted strong growth in the past two years and should continue to benefit from the expansion of China's IT industry. Digital has also secured large contracts from the government, telecoms and banking sectors, further enhancing its share profile. Its annual revenue growth is expected to be 30 per cent to 35 per cent over the next five years. 'Digital will definitely move into e-commerce and systems integration and will not be adversely affected by the opening up of the [sector] after WTO.' When talking about Legend, China's largest PC-maker, Mr Tang said the company expected 30 per cent to 35 per cent earnings growth. He said Legend would sustain its 30 per cent share of China's PC market because of its superior technical support and competitiveness. All the analysts were looking forward to a well-earned Christmas break and a happier 2002.