Being Contrarian on China

The news and analysis about economic conditions in China has turned decidedly negative of late after the latest round of key indicators – GDP growth, imports, fixed asset investment and industrial output – showed signs that a broader slowdown could be coming.

The discussion has had a very short-term focus, while the Beijing government has taken a longer view by taking some of the hot air out of the property sector to head off the kind of 2008-09 bust that dragged down the U.S. and Western European financial sectors and eventually their economies.

Others (including us) also take a longer view – here’s a sampling of analysis that doesn’t share the same dire outlook as is dominating the mainstream.

BCA Research: “Chinese banks’ total lending to the property sector has been increasing in recent years, but banks’ credit exposure to the property market is very low compared to other major economies. The large down payments of mortgage borrowers provides a significant buffer between banking sector assets and property prices.”

ISI China Research: “China’s fiscal revenue in the first seven months of this year was 26 percent more than those in 2009 or 2008… yet spending only increased 17 percent … the fiscal strength is impressive. Beijing will have a lot of fiscal ammo in (the second half of 2010).”

CLSA Asia Pacific Markets: “The upside of slowing data is that the potential for further tightening measures recedes even if Beijing is not yet ready for outright easing.”

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About Frank Holmes 282 Articles

Affiliation: U.S. Global Investors

Frank Holmes is CEO and chief investment officer of U.S. Global Investors, Inc., which manages a diversified family of mutual funds and hedge funds specializing in natural resources, emerging markets and infrastructure.

The company’s funds have earned more than two dozen Lipper Fund Awards and certificates since 2000. The Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) was Lipper’s top-performing global natural resources fund in 2010. In 2009, the World Precious Minerals Fund (UNWPX) was Lipper’s top-performing gold fund, the second time in four years for that achievement. In addition, both funds received 2007 and 2008 Lipper Fund Awards as the best overall funds in their respective categories.

Mr. Holmes was 2006 mining fund manager of the year for Mining Journal, a leading publication for the global resources industry, and he is co-author of “The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing.”

He is also an advisor to the International Crisis Group, which works to resolve global conflict, and the William J. Clinton Foundation on sustainable development in nations with resource-based economies.

Mr. Holmes is a much-sought-after conference speaker and a regular commentator on financial television. He has been profiled by Fortune, Barron’s, The Financial Times and other publications.

Visit: U.S. Global Investors

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