Asian Trio: China, Cambodia, and Philippines

02/13/2014 10:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Benjamin Shepherd

Analyst, Breakthrough Tech Profits, Global Income Edge and Personal Finance

Global expert Benjamin Shepherd looks a trio of top-performing stocks in his model portfolio, each of which remains a buy. In his Global Investment Strategist he reviews a China water play, a Cambodian casino operator, and a Philippines-based fast food operator.

Our best performer, by far, was Beijing Enterprises Water Group (HK:371), which more than doubled, gaining 147.3% over the course of the year.

Despite the continuing macroeconomic challenges across the developing world, the necessity of clean fresh water, for both life and industry, generally outweighs most other concerns.

The group added 49 new water plants to its business in the first half of 2013 alone. It also finished construction of a second sewage treatment plant in Malaysia, further expanding its international footprint. Beijing Enterprises Water Group remains a buy up to HKD5.

NagaCorp (HK:3918) (OTC:NGCRF) gained 82.7% last year. The firm operates Cambodia's only casino in the capital city of Phnom Phenh and has exclusive gaming rights for a 200-kilometer radius around the city until 2035.

Local Cambodians are undeniably important to the casino's business, but its real profit driver has been the growing numbers of tourists to the country; a huge influx of Vietnamese tourists to the country has been extremely beneficial, since Cambodia and Vietnam established an open-border policy.

Interestingly, there was a huge 49.2% influx of Chinese tourists in 2013, because of more stringent gambling regulations in Macau.

The company has also continued making progress on its Naga 2 expansion; in all, 1,000 new rooms will be added to NagaWorld, as well as 50 VIP suites. NagaCorp remains a buy up to HKD8.

Jollibee Foods (OTC:JBFCF) gained 66.7% last year. The company has reached $2 billion in annual sales, a figure that has grown by about 12% annually over the past several years.

Jollibee, already the largest fast food restaurant chain in the Philippines, is expected to become Asia's largest fast food chain sometime this year, with plenty of both organic and potential acquisition targets ahead of it.

The company is also aiming to improve its mix between corporate-owned and franchise stores to generate rapid growth, while minimizing capital expenditures.

Not only would a greater focus on franchises help lower the parent company's costs, it would also help it to break into new markets with less risk. Continuing to grow, Jollibee Foods is a buy up to USD4.50.

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