Five stock tips from the world’s best fund managers

Merryn Somerset Webb reveals five stock tips from top-performing fund managers at the Sohn Conference in London.

More Sohn tips (see the original article here). Eashwar Krishnan of Tybourne Capital looked at the Asian media industry. He talked about the low levels of ad spend in Asia relative to GDP (around 1%) and the very low ad rates (about 20 times less in India than in the US for example). That's despite the fact that consumer spending is rising much faster in Asia than elsewhere.

He expects ad rates to rise at double digit rates "for years"; he is convinced that there is scope for fast rising profits across the sector; and notes too that changes in the pay-TV industry will allow content providers to take more of the total revenues than they currently do.

And the "macro headwinds" in emerging markets just provide a "good entry level". The actual tips included Surya Citra Media, PT Media, and Zee Entertainment Entreprises.

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Later, Mala Gaonkar of Lone Pine Capital suggested Qualcomm for its "steady, thoughtful innovation", strong patent portfolio, exposure to the fast growing smartphone market and high royalty income.

Then Dynamo Capital founder Bruno Rocha gave a great talk about the lack of correlation between economic growth and stock-market returns before tipping AB Inbev, thanks to the fact that its scale makes it very hard to compete with.

This, by the way, is something that a large percentage of the tips focused on companies in duopolies and oligopolies and with infrastructures no one else can build from scratch. Get that combination at the right price, and it is hard to go wrong.

Merryn Somerset Webb

Merryn Somerset Webb started her career in Tokyo at public broadcaster NHK before becoming a Japanese equity broker at what was then Warburgs. She went on to work at SBC and UBS without moving from her desk in Kamiyacho (it was the age of mergers).

After five years in Japan she returned to work in the UK at Paribas. This soon became BNP Paribas. Again, no desk move was required. On leaving the City, Merryn helped The Week magazine with its City pages before becoming the launch editor of MoneyWeek in 2000 and taking on columns first in the Sunday Times and then in 2009 in the Financial Times

Twenty years on, MoneyWeek is the best-selling financial magazine in the UK. Merryn was its Editor in Chief until 2022. She is now a senior columnist at Bloomberg and host of the Merryn Talks Money podcast -  but still writes for Moneyweek monthly. 

Merryn is also is a non executive director of two investment trusts – BlackRock Throgmorton, and the Murray Income Investment Trust.