UBS has emerged as the top overall research house when it comes to stock picks in Asian markets, according to an analysis report published yesterday. The report, published by independent research analysis firm AQ Research, ranks 45 research houses in the region based on the accuracy of their buy, hold and sell recommendations on 300 stocks during the six months between November last year and April this year. Analysts rating stocks on an absolute basis were more likely to be right than those projecting performance relative to an index, the report said, noting that it may pay off to trust a brokerage house with local market knowledge. South Korea's Dongwon Securities obtained the highest score in its home market, while DBS Vickers achieved the best average performance in Singapore. Each recommendation was scored at a multiple of the share-price movement with buy or sell calls using a multiple of 1 or -1, while a strong buy or strong sell will be multiplied by 1.25 or -1.25. Hold recommendations have no score. 'The [analysis] period captures the market peak in January and February this year and the subsequent pullback and it was analysts who spotted the turn who achieved the highest scores,' AQ managing director John Hetherington said. UBS achieved an overall average score of 5.76, outpacing its closest rival ING Asia by more than two points. UBS also ranked at the top for stock calls in Hong Kong, where it correctly spotted the positive turnaround in the property market, Malaysia and the Philippines. ING topped the ranking for Indonesia and Taiwan. Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia came out on top among research houses making recommendations based on index-relative performances but finished fifth overall. Kim Eng had the highest average score on Chinese stocks. South China Brokerage came second followed by Deutsche Bank. In Hong Kong, Lehman Brothers followed UBS while Credit Suisse First Boston came in third. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch did not participate in the voluntary survey.