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投資觀點

投資於中國:鼠年的五大投資主題(只備英文版)

22 Jan 2020
作者: Wilfred WeePortfolio Manager, Joanna YangAssistant Portfolio Manager

 

What might the Year of the Rat hold for investors in China?

As we are approaching Chinese New Year, we are entering the year of the intelligent and agile rat. What should investors expect? Our China experts suggest that the rodent — which came first among all the animals in the zodiac race thanks to its quick wits and cunning — may prove an apt symbol for the next 12 months.

Positive signs of stronger foundations for growth in China

The latest economic data has been encouraging, with a slight rise in infrastructure spending, and China’s services sector and consumption have both shown resilience. Industrial production data has also beaten expectations. Other recent upbeat news includes the approval of local-government special bond issuance (earmarked for infrastructure investment), which has the potential to support economic growth. 

Meanwhile, China’s monetary policy moves have continued to bolster the economy, while remaining targeted in design and prudent in magnitude. The recent cut in the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions’ deposits provides further evidence of policymakers’ desire to create favourable conditions for growth.

Nothing is stagnant in China, which has been ramping up efforts to reform its economy and businesses. This includes the following:

  • Transformational reforms are taking place among China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
  • China is taking bold steps to open more sectors to private enterprises, encourage innovation and improve legal protection.
  • Some of the country’s biggest cities are relaxing the residency permit system, known as the hukou, which determines where people can live and work. The reforms will reduce restrictions on the mobility of China’s immigrant workforce, thereby releasing a structural source of demand for housing, medical and educational infrastructure, and services. The reforms are part of the transformation of China’s rural economy, which will be a key driver of the rebalancing of the nation’s growth.
  • Importantly for investors, China is moving fast in opening its capital markets to foreign investors. Investment quotas for QFII (Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) and RQFII (Renminbi QFI) investors have been removed and access channels are being harmonised.

Greater currency stability

The renminbi looks set for a smoother journey this year, given the US-China truce. It could also benefit from a weakening US dollar, relating to uncertainty ahead of this year’s US presidential elections. A stable renminbi is positive for onshore equities, which trade in the domestic currency.

A pivotal year for China bonds

In the latest step in their integration into the global mainstream, renminbi-denominated bonds will join the flagship JP Morgan EM suite of indices in February 2020. As the China-bond asset class enters the mainstream, we think more investors will embrace the high credit quality and attractive yields that this asset class can offer, particularly if they are based in jurisdictions where their domestic bond markets can only offer low to zero yields.

China A-shares take centre stage

As China opens its capital markets, the opportunity for international investors is growing with greater inclusion of onshore Chinese equities into world indices. The MSCI began phased inclusion of China A-shares in 2019. If fully included, China A-shares would account for 16% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. These onshore companies allow investors to tap into China’s strong domestic growth drivers.

A bigger part of investors’ portfolios

The broadening and deepening of China’s credit market has seen it play an increasingly important role in EM corporate credit investors’ portfolios over the past five years. Put simply, the market’s becoming too big to ignore.

Wilfred Wee
Wilfred Wee Portfolio Manager
Joanna Yang
Joanna Yang Assistant Portfolio Manager

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