SINGAPORE (Aug 13): The Hour Glass was one of the stocks we picked to ride the tide of rising affluence in Asia-Pacific — especially greater China — amid strengthening exports of Swiss luxury watches.

Given the industry’s recovery so far this year, we are confident this counter’s popularity among investors will follow suit. The stock has returned 3.1% over the period of Feb 9 to Aug 7, which values it at just 8.1 times historical earnings. With net cash of $164 million, or about a third of market value, those are strong fundamentals underpinning the financial health of this company.

In the first half of this year, the Swiss luxury watch exports industry enjoyed its strongest half-yearly growth since 2012, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH (FSWI). Between January and June, total number of pieces exported was up 1.3% y-o-y to 11.7 million units. However, total value was up a bigger 10.5% y-o-y to CHF10.5 billion ($43 billion). The association is optimistic that 2018 will end on a better note than 2017.

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