SELL Hysan Development Daiwa Institute of Research has maintained its 'sell' rating, despite Hysan's better than expected results. Analyst Natalie Chow said downward pressure on the group's office portfolio remained a major concern and she did not expect any upward movement in its shares in the near term. Ms Chow said Hysan - trading at 15.5 times next year's expected earnings, a 32 per cent premium to its three-year average of 11.7 times forecast earnings - remained unattractive. The counter closed yesterday at $7.90. BUY CNOOC Merrill Lynch has issued a 'buy' rating after the announcement of a joint agreement to explore and develop a number of areas in the Xihu Trough. Analysts Mario Traviati and Adrian Loh said the area contained four gas discoveries with ultimate recoverable reserves that could amount to 10 trillion cubic feet. The analysts said the proximity of the Xihu Trough to major gas markets in eastern China represented an attractive gas-development scenario. Merrill has lifted its price objective for CNOOC to $14.30. It closed at $13 yesterday. HOLD BYD DBS Vickers Securities has kept its 'hold' recommendation on the battery maker despite first-half net income rising 27 per cent year on year, driven by strong growth in its handset battery division. Analyst Joseph Ho said gross margins had been squeezed by the consolidation of its new car business and a lower margin for handset batteries. He said BYD had left investors exposed to a 'mixed bag of businesses' with its new car manufacturing division. Instead, he recommended rival Coslight Technology, which trades at a 37 per cent discount to BYD.