Stocks with high exposure to China could stand to gain if the country moves away from its Covid protocols next year, according to Jefferies. A continuation of China’s “zero-Covid” policy has worried business leaders around the world who view the country as a key part of the global supply chain. But Desh Peramunetilleke, Jefferies’ global head of microstrategy, said he expects China’s reopening plan to become more formalized in the first half of the year before the country reopens in the second half. The Wall Street Journal reported progress on that front Thursday , saying China’s leaders were targeting GDP growth of more than 5% next year as they ease Covid restrictions. “Of the many issues facing China, end of zero COVID is the most definitive factor that will continue to support the market,” Peramunetilleke said in a note to clients Wednesday. “While there will be a few direct long-term beneficiaries such as airlines and casino operators, more broadly US companies with China exposure are likely to benefit as China’s economy rebounds from both the re-opening and recent property market stabilization measures.” With this in mind, Jefferies screened for stocks with sales exposure above 15% to China and Hong Kong. The chart below shows 10 of the names the firm found. Hotel stocks are among the most exposed. Las Vegas Sands has the most exposure at nearly 70%, while Wynn Resorts also made the list with just over 40% exposure. Both stocks have gained share value since the start of the year. And both have moved in line with news out of China over the course of the year. For instance, both got boosts in late November after the Chinese government granted resort operators provisional licenses to continue operating in Macau, which signaled progress away from Covid restrictions. Farther down on the list, electric vehicle maker Tesla has just over 25% exposure to the country. The company cut December output of one model at its Shanghai plant by more than 20%, Bloomberg first reported, due to cooling demand. Production in Shanghai lagged earlier in the year due to a combination of supply chain challenges and Covid restrictions. Apple is also considered one of the most-exposed stocks. A plant in China that is the largest producer of iPhones in the world was ordered to lock down for seven days in November under the country’s Covid restrictions. Later in the month, plant workers protested amid broader demonstrations against the country’s Covid restrictions . Tesla has dropped 55.5% this year, while Apple has shed 19.4%.
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