The Hong Kong stock market is at a seven year high. Reuters talks about money inflow hopes as China allows mutual funds to invest in the Hong Kong exchange.
Hong Kong’s bull kept raging on Monday, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index jumping nearly 3 percent to fresh seven-year highs on expectations more money will pour in to hunt for bargains.
Brokerage BOC International forecast that about 100 billion yuan ($16.09 billion) will be raised by mainland fund managers and become available for Hong Kong investment as early as May.
China recently allowed mutual funds to buy Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme.
On Monday, investors are also encouraged by a report in Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily that speculated that the daily quota for Hong Kong stock purchases by mainlanders under the Connect scheme will be nearly quadrupled to 40 billion yuan.
Is it time to invest in the Hong Kong stock market? The hype in Hong Kong is that Chinese investors will find cheap valuation and more in Hong Kong. Another reason for mainland investors to want to invest in the Hong Kong stock market are plunging real estate prices and dwindling exports. Simply put there may be better ways to make money than investing directly in mainland China these days.
Is This the End of the Chinese Economic Miracle?
Over the last forty years China has mimicked the economic experience of the United States in the latter half of the 19th century. China routinely experienced ten percent economic growth or better. Now economists expect China to be happy with seven percent growth this year and perhaps five percent growth by the end of the decade. The Wall Street Journal weighs in on weak first quarter growth in China.
According to data released Monday by the General Administration of Customs, Chinese exports fell 15% and imports fell 12.7% last month in dollar terms as weak domestic and foreign demand weighed heavily on Chinese factories.
Beijing faces growing pressure to pare interest rates, cut bank reserves and increase government spending following a string of weak property, industrial production and other economic data in recent weeks, said Mizuho economist Shen Jianguang. He said he expected first-quarter growth to be around 6.8% or 6.9%. “But the real fundamentals, industrial production, could be even weaker,” Mr. Shen added.
The point is that there may be better places to invest right now than in mainland China. To invest in the Hong Kong market will give investors another more viable option.
What Are the Problems in China?
The Australian looks at the Chinese economy from the viewpoint of how Australia will need to look offshore as demand for raw material exports to China diminishes.
China’s 2014 GDP growth rate of 7.4 per cent was the lowest since 1990, and is forecast to drop to about 7 per cent. The long-term factors behind slower growth for China include:
China’s ageing population and a shrinking workforce.
Rising real wages, as regional and sectorial labor shortages enhance labor bargaining power.
Over-capacity in many Chinese industries, as a long-term consequence of policies that have favored investment ahead of consumption.
Visible pollution of air, water, soil, food: resistance from consumers and residents increases, and pollution control will mean higher costs for many companies.
As a first step many Chinese may choose to invest in the Hong Kong stock market. Other investors may wish to look totally outside China for investment opportunities.