GAM Star China Equity fund manager Michael Lai says the launch of Fidelity’s China Special Situations trust, managed by Anthony Bolton, will help make the case for China as an asset class in its own right.
GAM Star中华股票基金(GAM Star China Equity)经理人Michael Lai表示，安东尼•波顿(Anthony Bolton)管理的富达中国特殊情况信托基金(Fidelity China Special Situations)的发行，将有助于证明中国本是就是一个资产类别。
“From our perspective, that’s good,” says Mr Lai. “You can make the parallel with Japan in the 1960s or 1970s, when it became the [world’s] second-largest stock market.” If current growth trends continue, China will follow the same path, making the case to be treated as a separate asset class.
The $208m (£138m, €164m) China Equity fund returned 8.2 per cent in the three months to March 31 compared with a loss of 1.6 per cent for the MSCI Free China index.
在截至3月31日的3个月里，规模为2.08亿美元的GAM Star中华股票基金实现了8.2%的回报率，而摩根士丹利资本国际中国外资自由投资指数(MSCI China Free Index)却下跌了1.6%。
Since launch in July 2007, it has returned annualised growth of 26.6 per cent compared with 0.2 per cent for the index.
Mr Lai says the fund has been oriented to the IT, technology and consumer sectors and away from the real estate and financial sectors, which have suffered from government policies to curb inflation.
“Real estate and financials have been significant underperformers because of policy headwinds as the government looks to rein in the economy,” he says. “Clearly, the economy had grown a little too fast for comfort. Nonetheless, we remain confident the government will continue to enact policies to create opportunities and allow the economy to grow at around the 7-9 per cent range.”
However, Mr Lai says the market has already priced in a lot of negative news around financials and real estate, so he is beginning to add to some positions. “We are taking our time because it is not apparent to us the economy has slowed down sufficiently to allow the government to relax its stance in terms of removing liquidity.”
On the currency front, Mr Lai says the renminbi is undervalued by anywhere between 10 per cent and 40 per cent, but any move to revalue would be a political decision rather than an economic one. A revaluation could be prompted by an acceleration in inflation above 5 per cent or an acceleration in exports.
He says policymakers in China effectively imported monetary policy from the US because of the currency fix, but have used other means of slowing the economy, such as restricting the mortgage market.
“The banking regulators can enforce tighter standards on mortgage lending, so although they don’t have access to independent monetary policy, there are ways they can affect policy, and they have been affecting policy along those lines for the last four months.” Mr Lai has avoided companies affected by such tightening. His focus is on market consolidators – companies seeking to gain market share through acquisition and thereby achieve economies of scale or drive down costs.
Top holdings include food and beverage company Tingyi; Hengan International, a personal healthcare company; Lenovo, previously IBM in China; and Comba Telecoms International. All companies in the fund are listed in Hong Kong.
重仓股包括食品饮料公司康师傅(Tingyi)；个人保健品公司恒安国际(Hengan International)；原IBM中国公司联想(Lenovo)；以及京信通信(Comba Telecoms International)。GAM Star中华股票基金投资的所有公司都在香港上市。
Despite “obvious political problems”, the basic story for China remains strong, Mr Lai claims. He says the foreign perspective is often based on the situation in first-tier cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, but many companies are benefiting from doing business in third, fourth and fifth-tier cities.
“You can’t extrapolate from Shanghai or Beijing. If you go beyond those two cities, it will give you a more balanced view of what is going on in the rest of the economy.”
John Lappin is a freelance journalist writing for Investment Adviser
本文作者是FT Investment Adviser自由撰稿人