China is a rapidly evolving nation.
First it was exports. Cheap labour and efficiency helped China to become the maker of pretty much everything.
But this was only working while other nations were buying. That buying stopped during the aftermath of the global financial meltdown.
Multiple factories shut down. Millions of workers were out of their jobs. Chinese policy makers had to do something quick, lest let see their much-loved growth fade away.
Their plan was to pump billions into infrastructure. But not the old fiscal way — through government spending.
They drove billions of dollars into infrastructure through banks and relaxed lending.
It did the job. Millions of jobs were created. The economy continued to grow. And outside capital flowed into China to profit from projects and easy cash.
Lending May Have Left China Exposed
Yet, lending for so long has left China exposed. Some believe China’s financial industry is at risk of failing. This is, of course, the extreme opinion.
But when the outgoing governor of the central bank says policy makers have a real problem on their hands, investors take notice.
Might Not Be All That Bad
Yet it might not be all that bad. According to Jorry Noeddekaer, head of emerging markets at Nordea Asset Management in Copenhagen, a lot of the worries about China and its financial system are exaggerated.
Noeddekaer oversees over US$5 billion and thinks fear is creating some great opportunities in the market. He says:
‘Every two weeks or so somebody tells you that China is going to blow to pieces. It hasn’t happened so far.’
‘All this nervousness and all these very skeptical people out there, create a great opportunity for being a stockpicker…You can buy very high quality companies cheaply.’
‘Noeddekaer buys companies in the service and consumption driven part of the economy while avoiding the commodity sector and the government-owned banks.
‘Nordea Emerging Stars fund has returned on average 11 percent a year in the past five years. That’s better than 93 percent of its peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its biggest holdings are Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
‘Alibaba has “an exceptionally scalable business model” and the “monetization potential of customer engagement still have a lot of room to grow,” according to Noeddekaer.
‘“They’re slowly starting to make a global expansion,” he said. “With their business model, services and the IT capabilities, they will become a true global player ten years from now.”
‘The Emerging Stars fund is overweight India, where Noeddekaer is betting on the housing boom and growth in financial services.’
Junior Analyst, Markets & Money
PS: Aussie property prices continue to defy gravity. Those who have tried to predict the top have been wrong thus far. That’s because property prices still have a long runway of growth ahead.
If you want to read more about a long-term booming property market, check out our special Markets & Money report, ‘Why Australian Property is on the Verge of a Decade Long Boom’, by clicking here.