Is the Chinese stock market a smarter buy than Dow, S&P right now?
Xi Jinping is the general secretary of CPC Central Committee of Communist Party of China. He also serves as the chairman of Central Military Commission.
Ju Peng | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
For years, financial advisers have advised investors that China is a key part of a long-term investment portfolio. Is that still the case, with China’s stock market falling so much this year, and the government exerting more control over its businesses, or has it become too late to get rid of stocks in the second largest economy on the planet?
According to some of the largest investment institutions, the advantages of China exposure are still valid. However, China’s stock market could be an attractive buy relative to the U.S. market due to its recent slump. U.S. equity volatility also up but it is not enough for valuations to be significantly affected after what investors claim has been an atypically long period. This is The MSCI China IndexThis year’s decline in the number of people who have applied for insurance has been nearly 20%. S&P 500 IndexThe stock is almost up 16% despite the recent sales and its first 5% decrease in over one year.
“China has gone on sale,” said J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management CEO Mary Erdoes at the recent CNBC Delivering AlphaConference
Erdoes who is a member the U.S. China Business Council expressed his surprise at how the Chinese government responded to the recent move to tighten its control on capital markets and management.
Erdoes stated at Delivering Alpha that “all of the hand-wringing in the world about words from China is the exact same thing you hear coming out U.S. government.” He was referring to, among others, the upcoming election. Chinese government’s “common prosperity” planTo spread wealth across the country. Some of China’s biggest internet companies are AlibabaAnd TencentThe Chinese government has made it clear that the plan will be a huge investment in these companies.
Some investors even the millionaires are not concerned about making money in China. After BlackRockGeorge Soros visited the Wall Street Journal to discuss China and recently increased the focus of its investments. to decry “BlackRock’s China blunder”It is a threat to national security and the U.S.
Erdoes reaffirmed the long-held argument about China exposure. She cited China as a growing middle class economy, with hundreds of million people. However, she warned against getting too excited by the market’s recent headlines. These are the financial struggles of the Chinese property giant EvergrandeErdoes stated that while it’s not insignificant it isn’t another Lehman Brothers. She also said it was “not the biggest thing going on in China.”
She argued that the government’s scrutiny of Jack Ma, Alibaba founder, is part a wider regulatory wave in China, which will ultimately benefit investors. Other top Chinese investors who spoke at Delivering Alpha said that betting on China was not worth the risk.
China market worries are happening amid a wider geopolitical battleThe relationship between China and the U.S. hasn’t improved under the Biden administration.
Erdoes sought out a trusted source of market intelligence to support her China views: Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger. She cited a CNBC interview from late June, when Munger — who invested early in Chinese company BYD — said he was in favor of the way the communist Chinese were acting against market excess.
Munger said that “And our wonderful free enterprise economy allows all these crazy people to go to this gross excess.” This was part of the Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger documentary. “A Wealth of Wisdom.”
It is the communist Chinese who try to avoid it. To stop speculation, they intervened preemptively. The communists were right. We should have… While I do not want the whole Chinese system, I would love to see the financial side of it in my country.
China’s case ultimately rests upon a wider view than most long-term investors are comfortable with: good portfolio construction means taking advantage of market drops to rebalance your portfolio.
Erdoes declared, “It is definitely time to invest not only in the Chinese marketplace at large but in the companies that will benefit.” So many of our clients are very overweight in China and other emerging markets. It is something that people need to be aware of. It is the right time.
a piece earlier this week for the Financial Times, Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles SchwabThe big numbers, which are based on the market’s recent history, support a bullish outlook.
- Over the last 20 years, China’s stock markets have experienced an average 28% decline from peak to bottom annually. This year is not unusual.
- In 17 years, there has been a bearish market for Chinese stocks.
- Even with that volatility, annualized returns in the MSCI China Index over the past two decades have been above 12%, outperforming the S&P 500.
Ashbel Williams, the executive director and chief investment officer for the Florida State Board of Administration — which oversees roughly $200 billion on behalf of public service employees in the state — said there are reasons to be cautious about China, but speaking on the same Delivering Alpha session with the Erdoes, he agreed with the JP Morgan executive that “the short term bumps and zigs and zags” are signs of opportunity for investors.
Williams believes that the Chinese government is currently in a position of leadership. He said after extending its power, it should be expected to have more central control over the market. This will lead to “leadership urges,” which can cause unintended consequences and “shocks, and side effects.” He believes that the government will eventually learn how to exert its power without causing chaos in the market. The Chinese market offers investors an opportunity to be unpredictable.
He said, “At one’s end, if all is smooth and stable and regular and predictable it doesn’t mean you can make any money.”
China is a huge percentage of emerging markets indices, Williams noted — roughly 37% of the MSCI EM Index and corresponding ETFs like BlackRock’s iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF — but he added it is not the entire region, and too much focus on China misses the broader investment story. According to him, Asia is more than a source of cheap products for the industrialized world.
Williams stated that “that is in itself important because of the large number of people living in Asia and the expansion in the middle class have tremendously positive commercial implications.” This view is more significant after the strong returns to U.S. stocks.
Both Williams and Erdoes expressed concern about the U.S. stock market crashing if it isn’t sustained. a lower return world in the futureIt is not all China. It is not all China — Erdoes pointed to the valuations that European financials are trading at, which would require a 30% gain to get them up to 1x book value. However, they warned that this isn’t just about the domestic bull.
It’s unusual to see 30%-50% return in the U.S. If that is the case, it’s time to search elsewhere. Williams stated that it’s not only in America.
Some Chinese investors have had experience investing in China and do not expect the U.S. to see more of its froth in the short term. However, some of them told CNBC’s Delivering Alpha China isn’t part of their search for new opportunities.
Altimeter Capital’s founder and CEO, Brad Gerstner believes that the Nasdaq is an example of a market where there are still significant opportunities for decline. This could be because the U.S. markets move back to normalized pre-Covid levels of growth multiples and interest rates. As rates rise, so do growth stocks. At Delivering Alpha, Gerstner stated that there is still 10%-15% of the Nasdaq that it can “give back” in order to be back at a healthy level.
His only exposure to China was ByteDance which his company invested in five year ago, when the firm owned a $10 million business. It is now valued at close to $300 billion. However, he stated that it will not be publicly traded in the U.S. for this year. This was a expectation prior to the Chinese government’s recent actions against the ridehailing giant. DiDiAfter its U.S. offer. He also sold other Chinese stocks such as Ma’s Alibaba. PinduoduoThe last year.
Gerstner stated, “We’ve always been keen observers”. Gerstner noted that he had made his first trip in China in 2003. He also invested in early internet innovators such as Trip.com. Jack Ma’s issues were “a warning sign but it was also part of the pattern we were witnessing, the reassertion state power relative to conglomerates”. It’s “a fundamentally different time and a historic narrative in China that we shouldn’t be surprised at,” he said. He said that the Chinese President Xi Jinping now regards “toleration capitalism” as a way to reach strategic and national goals.
Gerstner explained that China has become a “national enterprise” with one CEO, and this is also the president of the nation. There are no more major founders involved with the Internet companies. I do not believe we will have additional Chinese IPOs.
Erdoes und Williams both stated that alpha generation requires investors to be willing to take on risks, but Gerstner referred to the present period in China with “radical uncertainty”.
He said that China will experience a lot economic growth and added that there are reasons to think there will be relative stability between now and the Winter Olympics. He isn’t prepared to risk the same investment risks as he did when he bet on China.
“I have spoken to 20-year old friends who are the most well connected people in China. The truth is, all of them admit with a lot of humility that they don’t know. So, as a business we won’t make any calls on China.
Although investment logic might dictate that if valuations fall because of increased risk, it’s time to buy in to a low-quality opportunity, that doesn’t convince Gerstner. According to Gerstner, “Valuations have not gone down much on a risk adjusted basis.” This is China’s fundamental pivot and foreign investors will look at this very differently.
The Chinese government will make major decisions in the following year, he said. This could have an impact on relations with international financial institutions. Although it is possible for the stock market to go up again like BABA in the future, I do not believe anyone can be certain.
The divide between the institutional asset management giants and the more selective hedge funds and VCs — which often get into private tech companies well before IPOs — over whether China is an alpha generator at a time of greater volatility from the U.S. was also reflected in the views of Social Capital founder and CEO Chamath Palihapitiya at Delivering Alpha. According to him, he sees inflation as a big riskChina, he says, will be the driver of volatility and not a hedge.
His words were: “I believe there will be lots volatility.” Palihapitiya stated that the question was where it will come from.
Investors shouldn’t accept China bullishness by asset managers without having a sense of skepticism. He stated that the institutional investor business model “really requires China to become an investable location.”
“There are many billions in foreign money and you can make fees and generate profits. However, I feel that the game has ended,” he stated. China Inc. A country, one company and one CEO.
According to him, it’s important that investors keep an eye out for changes in China as they could have implications for their national security, supply chain, and inflation.
He said, “As people get to grips that, there’ll be many opportunities to make some money.” He believes that the Chinese market is not offering this opportunity today. “I have always said that I can only invest in a place if I really understand how money goes in, and the rule of law, and most importantly, how money can come out, and what we have seen in last six months has really shaken my confidence in the ability to predict what happens next.”
Palihapitiya indicated that China is an area she “will read but not invest in” at the moment.
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