China’s country’s largest real estate company, Evergrande, which is on the verge of bankruptcy with more than $300 billion in debt (about 2% of China’s GDP), has announced that it will not be able to pay interest next week. Weak home sales, especially in the last year, have put it in this cash-strapped position. Therefore, the situation is becoming increasingly tense. The group is described by Beijing as a “grey rhinoceros”, i.e., a large company with an alarming debt load representing a systemic financial risk.
Aberdeen Standard Investments | Now the world’s second largest economy, China continues to grow at a far faster rate than other major markets. Driven by investment, manufacturing and exports, GDP expanded 2.3% year-on-year in 2020. It underlines how China’s economy was first in, first out of the Covid-19 pandemic and the successful measures taken to contain the initial outbreak and subsequent infection waves.
China’s economic activity in August exceeded expectations, with industrial production accelerating at the strongest pace in eight months and retail sales growing for the first time this year. The activity data shows that the recovery is becoming more balanced and broad-based as private sector demand is gaining momentum.
Daniel Wagner | China’s footprint in global foreign direct investment has increased notably since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. That served to bring Chinese overseas FDI closer to a level that one would expect, based on the country’s weight in the global economy. However, China actually invested more in countries outside the BRI during the period, given that Chinese investment in developed countries tends to have larger market values, particularly for mergers and acquisitions.
Fidelity | Over 100 million travellers hit the Chinese roads during the five-day May Day holiday, the first major test for domestic tourism demand since the Covid-19 containment measures began to be lifted. International travel remains out of the question, but clear signs of a gradual recovery in Chinese domestic tourism could give other countries a boost in confidence as they look to the future.
Mark Shirreff Matthews (Head Research Asia, Julius Baer)| We remain Overweight on China. Of the major world economies, it will be the least impacted by the coronavirus. It is impacted nonetheless, but China’s economies of scale, and financial and technological resources, mean it can develop “new infrastructure” even more than it had previously planned to. Our recommendation for long-term investors is to be positioned in that space, and all its ancillaries, while in the short-term, “old infrastructure” (like cement and construction equipment) will also receive a boost.
CaixaBank Research | China is responding with economic policy space to deal with the coronavirus. On the one hand, measures will be taken in 1H20 to support the sectors having the greatest difficulties. On the other hand, a significant fiscal stimulus package is expected to provide investment in the 2H20. The set of measures will be beneficial, as they will facilitate a full recovery of China’s economy, although they will also increase the deficit in a country with an already high level of corporate debt (150% of GDP).
Compared to the SARS epidemic, it is clear that the way in which China has responded to this virus is a major departure from its posture back in 2003. It is clear that Beijing has learned its lessons. This time, the Chinese government informed the World Health Organization on December 31 about the new virus which had been identified on December 26. With the SARS crisis, they did not report the virus to the WHO until four months after the first case was detected.
Investment Desk, Bank Degroof Petercam │ Fears of a slowdown are more pronounced. We are seeing a slight reduction in trade tensions since President Trump announced a partial delay in the imposition of new tariffs on Chinese products. The tariffs on approximately half of the 300,000 goods subject to the measures will be introduced from 15 December instead of September.
Liu Xiao via Caixin |Initial coin offering (ICO), an increasingly popular crowdfunding phenomenon in which new cryptocurrencies make their debut, continues to make headlines. But this time it’s about the swift and broad crackdown of the sector in China.