China's transition to consumer economy makes it more investable: senior investors

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-23 02:04:12|Editor: yan
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NEW YORK, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese ongoing efforts to transform itself from an export-oriented economy toward a consumption-based one would offer great investment opportunities for international investors, according to senior investment advisors.

China's regulatory interference in the last 12 months is really going to catalyze the move to create it into a consumer economy, which is actually happening, said Barry Gill, managing director and head of active equities with UBS Asset Management in a recent media roundtable meeting.

The story is extremely strong in China and "it makes it super investable," said Gill.

China's economic stabilization should drive increased investment there as the country is expected to contribute 33 percent of global economic growth in 2019, and the Chinese bond market is on the verge of becoming the world's second largest one, according to Suni Harford, head of investment with UBS Asset Management.

Active management of investment could fetch double digit yearly returns in some cases from Chinese capital market in the last decade while passive management of investment in Chinese benchmarks could offer about 4 percent of annual return, according to Gill.

Gill added that China still has a huge amount of tools at its disposal to maintain economic growth for some expanded period of time.

"If they can make structural investments in the safety net on the health care level, education level, tax code and all of these things, it will drive a completely new engine of growth for China," said Gill.

The potential growth in China driven by consumption would be a lot more similar to that in developed markets and "it is showing up already," Gill said, citing a large number of Chinese tourists in Japan.

China needs to reduce people's savings rate from around 25 percent to a lower level by building a sound social safety net, according to Gill.

A lower savings rate in China "will lead to a feedback loop that will both change the dynamics of the economy and will provide the next leg of growth," said the senior investor.

China has embarked on a path to empower domestic consumption with contribution of final consumption expenditure to economic growth at 76.2 percent in 2018 up from 45.3 percent in 2007, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.

UBS Asset Management, which manages as much as 824 billion U.S. dollars of assets worldwide, is pushing for a standalone allocation to China thanks to size of Chinese economy and continuous growth in the country.

"China's continuing growth and its standing as the world's second largest economy support experts' belief that the case for a standalone approach to China is growing increasingly compelling," said the latest "Panorama" report by UBS Asset Management.

Chinese bonds market is one uniquely defensive market and Chinese currency RMB would move to the reserve currency status, creating an RMB bloc in Asian and Pacific region, according to the report.

An active and standalone allocation supported by on-the-ground knowhow rather than as part of overall strategy for emerging markets would offer investors the best chance of capitalizing on many opportunities emerging from China's growing role in the global economy, the report said.