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vendredi 12 février 2010

China: six fund managers share their views

With Chinese New Year approaching on February 14, press teams around Europe are taking the opportunity to fill journalists' inboxes with fund manager comments on Chinese equities. Inundated with these quotes, I thought I would share some of the best ones below.

Louisa Lo, manager of the Schroder ISF Greater China fund :

'We believe that a tug of war between tightening and liquidity will be key to the direction of Chinese equities in 2010, with the markets very sensitive to any policy talk or any indication of tightening. Given our less sanguine view about the global economy, we continue to take a more defensive stance, focusing on good quality domestic names, which offer better valuations and visible and solid earnings growth.'

Hiroshi Yoh, CIO of Tokio Marine Asset Management's Asia ex Japan strategy :

'We believe the foremost issue for China in 2010 will be the execution of the “exit policies” as regional governments wean their economies off the stimulus programmes. China took the lead in regional Asian economies to raise its Reserve Requirement Ratios for banks in January 2010 to rein in the excess liquidity that could result in asset bubbles if left unsupervised.

'Nonetheless, we expect this to be gradual on the back of the uncertainty in H210 in the developed economies owing to the weak recovery of private demand and consumption, particularly from the West.
'The Chinese government is cognisant of the fragile recovery in its exports to the developed world and has implemented several measures to stimulate domestic demand, especially consumption... We believe the Chinese steps towards gradually “normalising” the economy are a move in the right direction and view the recent consolidation as healthy.'

Victoria Mio, manager of the Robeco Chinese Equities fund :

'We see any market weakness as a buying opportunity to gain more exposure to China’s unabatedly strong growth story.'

'It should be a rewarding year for fundamental stock-pickers. We believe that stocks offering alpha in 2010 will be either those with industry-specific catalysts, such as industry reform, consolidation, government stimulus or the economic cycle, or those with company-specific catalysts, such as group asset restructuring, expansions, new product launches, mergers & acquisitions or divestitures.'

Anthony Bolton, Fidelity International :

'There are three fundamental reasons for my excitement about China: I think its ongoing growth will be increasingly attractive in a generally slower-growth world in the wake of the financial crisis; China's stock market is also under-represented in global terms compared to its significant economic influence; most of all, I am attracted by the potential trajectory of China's economic development, which is similar to that experienced by countries like Taiwan, Korea and Japan 20 or 30 years ago - but on a much larger scale.
'My enthusiasm for China is long-term and I believe fears over the inflationary outlook and a potential asset price bubble are overstated.'

Charlie Awdry, manager of the Gartmore China Opportunities Fund :

“There are risks. China’s move in early January to raise its reserve requirement for domestic banks represents an attempt to control the amount of money flowing into the market. This is the first official monetary tightening we have seen and we expect to see more this year. However, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index is not expensive, either by historical measures or compared to other major world markets today. We continue to find areas of value and scope for unexpected earnings growth that help to underscore the case for Chinese equities this year.'

Philip Ehrmann, Jupiter China manager :

'We expect the Chinese economy to remain strong, with GDP growth once again in the 8% to 9% range this year. The economy's progress, however, is unlikely to be smooth but rather interspersed with inflation scares and worries over quarterly growth comparisons. This should provide investors with opportunities to increase exposure to China's strong growth story.'

(Philip Haddon - Citywire - 12/02/10)

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