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A tale of two Chinas

Why being positive on Chinese macro and the big four banks, but bearish on the rest of the financial sector, is not a contradiction in terms.


The week of September 11 brought a glut of conferences to Hong Kong and Singapore, united by one thing: people being very positive about China.

That was to be expected at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s we-love-the-motherland Belt and Road Summit, where one could hardly imagine Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, or the senior members of China’s National Development and Reform Commission and various key ministries, saying anything negative.

But the CLSA event – whose China day on the Tuesday is a highlight when some of the best analysts in the industry let loose on their outlook for the mainland – was also uncharacteristically cheerful.

Nicole Wong regional head of property research, said changes in policy “are going to make the property market a lot safer than we have always known it to be.”

An Patricia Cheng, head of China financial research, explained her overweight recommendation on Chinese banks, saying she had “more confidence about bank asset quality” and that there was “a lot more downside protection than before.”

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