Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?

The latest developments suggest that trade tensions between the US and China will be more protracted than previously expected. The US recently announced it is raising tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25% from 10%, and China has responded by increasing tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the US. The US … Continue reading “Who will pay as US-China trade wars intensify?”

Still on our way in May, watching for winners

Investing is a curious mixture of art and science. It is a world of phenomenally fast algorithmic trading, supplemented with old-fashioned sayings and adages concocted decades ago. Behavioural finance studies draw attention to the importance of ‘heuristics’. These are mental shortcuts or rules of thumb that ease the cognitive load in decision-making. The saying “sell … Continue reading “Still on our way in May, watching for winners”

Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge

It is well known that China faces an ageing problem. The popular narrative has it that China surged up the growth league tables on the back of its giant population, reaping years of demographic dividends to become the world’s second largest economy. In this narrative, China’s population is now ageing and so the growth story … Continue reading “Why policy reform is the key to China’s demographic challenge”

No time to be pig-headed

The trade war is dominating headlines and shaking investor confidence in China. But as we enter Year of the Pig, it’s worth remembering this is a long-term growth story. No sooner have the Christmas decorations come down than new ones have gone up to mark the Lunar New Year, which starts on February 5. It’s … Continue reading “No time to be pig-headed”

China and Taiwan tensions build

President Xi Jinping’s statement that Taiwan is properly part of China and will be fully integrated one day is not new policy. Nonetheless it seemed to upset the Hong Kong market, and made investors wonder whether there was to be a new tougher phase in China’s relations with the very successful island economy of Taiwan. … Continue reading “China and Taiwan tensions build”

G20 stare down does not de-escalate tensions

It would be easy to see last weekend’s G20 meeting a heralding a thaw in the US-China trade war. But it hasn’t. There are some positives. It looks increasingly likely that the US will not put in place a fresh 10-25% tariff hike in January on $250bn of Chinese exports, as most had thought. It … Continue reading “G20 stare down does not de-escalate tensions”

Fear not – volatility is normal

After the long period of rather calm markets in 2016-17, we predicted that from 2018 onwards, we would see a return towards more normal levels of market volatility. Swings up and down in share prices – even big moves – are normal behaviour for markets. The upside from investing in equity markets is the potential … Continue reading “Fear not – volatility is normal”

The growing role of China and India in emerging market bonds

Diversification across asset classes has become an essential part of investing for the long term. Investors are increasingly looking further afield to deepen their portfolio diversification and lower total risk as they seek attractive returns. The EMD asset class will continue to see strong growth and we believe that China and India will become increasingly … Continue reading “The growing role of China and India in emerging market bonds”

Xi who must be obeyed

Xi Jinping has become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Time will tell whether this is a good or bad thing for the economy. Chinese leaders gathered last week for the 19th Party Congress, a five-yearly plenum that sees the leadership of the Communist Party reshuffled, and economic and policy priorities outlined. Three … Continue reading “Xi who must be obeyed”

China’s different system carries on growing

When President Xi first gained the position of President of China five years ago there was considerable western enthusiasm. He came across as a keen reformer willing to push on with China’s enterprise revolution. He wanted to open China’s markets more to the west, to liberalise foreign exchange, privatise more industry and even introduce more … Continue reading “China’s different system carries on growing”

Two decades on from crisis, Asia is roaring

Twenty years ago this month, the government of Indonesia signed the first of several agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that threw a financial lifeline to a country struggling to stay afloat amid the Asian crisis. Deep-pocketed speculators, spotting structural weaknesses in selected regional economies, had forced catastrophic currency devaluations which triggered economic and … Continue reading “Two decades on from crisis, Asia is roaring”

The rise of China’s technology giants

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have rewarded investors’ faith in them. But how have they come to dominate the online economy in China?  When little-known Chinese online gaming and messaging company Tencent decided to list in Hong Kong back in June 2004, its shares were offered at HK$ 3.70 apiece. Fast-forward 13 years to the present … Continue reading “The rise of China’s technology giants”

How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?

Investors are worried; they’re hearing noises from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank about reducing balance sheets and hiking rates. They are wondering whether that will have an impact on emerging markets and on Asian bonds. In the past, they’ve been right to worry. Generally, when central banks start tightening, it does … Continue reading “How will central bank tightening affect emerging market bonds?”

New Dawn for India’s Solar Dreams

India isn’t a country you would associate with environmental stewardship. The Ganges River, an object of veneration for Hindus, is famously polluted; the country hosts 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Health Organisation; last year you could even see the smog hanging over New Delhi from outer space. Indeed, … Continue reading “New Dawn for India’s Solar Dreams”

A-Shares: All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Two years ago this month (June) China’s A-shares (shares that trade on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges) reached their highest level since the global financial crisis, after rocketing almost 80 per cent in six months. The market then slumped more than 43 per cent over the subsequent 11 weeks. Shares of companies that are … Continue reading “A-Shares: All Quiet on the Eastern Front”