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No. 3 - Trading China: The Multinationals

You could buy Chinese ETF’s or even ADRs, but what if you wanted to stay local? Well, then you could buy American multinationals who have tapped into the burgeoning Chinese appetite for American products. Here’s what the guys say about investing in multinationals as a China play.

Eric Bolling says China put $3 billion into the Blackstone IPO (BLV), which he calls a great sign, because that money will get invested right back in the US.

Jeff Macke says the risk with American companies is that they can’t all go to China. He likes Electronic Arts (ERTS) because they’re already developing a relationship with The9 Limited (NCTY).

Guy Adami likes materials stocks because he thinks China will continue to grow through August of ’08…the Beijing Olympics.

Dylan Ratigan says Yum Brands (YUM), makers of KFC and Pizza Hut is fast spreading the Colonel's secret blend of herbs and spices all over China with over 1800 KFC's in 400 cities in mainland China alone. The company recently touched an all-time high in large part because of its Chinese exposure.

Yum! Brands (YUM) Chief Financial Officer, Rick Carucci joins the guys for this part of the conversation.

Do you have free latitude to operate as a business in China?

Yes, we’ve been in China for 20 years, says Carucci. “AndS I do think it’s getting easier to operate in China.”

Give us some examples.

“We didn’t get reliable distribution so we had to start our own,” he says. Now we have our own distribution company in China. That’s allowed us to get into 400 cities.”

There are so many stories of the Chinese government not allowing business to operate freely. Have you experienced that?

“We have not,” replies Carucci. “And part of the reason is we’ve had a management team made up of ethnic Chinese people. They’ve known the way things operate in China.”

Does your infrastructure ever become a liability?

‘We believe it’s a huge advantage,” answers Carucci. It’s gotten KFC into 400 cities long before competitors have (opened a single store).

What about cultural challenges?

“We have a global business but we try to localize it. 20% of our products are dedicated to Chinese market. Things like the dragon twister product…(as well as a porridge). We try to give the Chinese consumers what they want.”

In China, people eat things Americans don’t such as koi karp (gold fish). Would you serve it?

“We’re not selling karp, but we do sell seafood such as salmon twister.”


Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! Prefer to keep it between us? You can still send questions and comments to fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Trader disclosure: On May 22, 2007 (the day this show was taped), the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Macke Owns (SWY); Najarian Owns (MDT), (STI); Bollings Owns Coffee, Sugar, Gold, Silver; Bolling Owns March Natural Gas Futures and Is Short April natural Gas Futures

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