Rapid Growth Of Still-Nascent Middle Class Signals Opportunity For Investors And Family Offices In China
Many investors are banking on the prospects for Chinese middle class consumption
We’ve kept a close eye on China’s burgeoning middle class, which — despite its recent appearance on the world stage — already numbers in the hundreds of millions, presenting a vast and unique potential consumer base for companies selling everything from cars to jewelry, household goods to fashion. While the Chinese middle class is expected by many to play a major role in the global economic recovery, their buying (and saving) habits, investment strategies, and long-term financial goals by and large remain poorly understood. Today, the Wall Street Journal looks into emerging market investors who eschew the popular financial planning target customer — the wealthy or ultra-rich — to serve the Chinese middle class, and investors in the West who are banking on the continued growth of this consumer class.
In coming years, it seems inevitable that the increased consumption of China’s hundreds of millions of middle class investors will affect, in some way, investors and money managers in other countries. If that is indeed the case, it pays to read up on this subject now, when the market is just starting to be defined and more fully understood:
Encouraged by the steps the Chinese government has taken to boost consumption, some equity-fund managers are putting money into sectors related to domestic demand, such as retail, automobiles and financials.
Chinese industrialization in recent years has lifted the average income of millions, propelling them into the ranks of a swelling middle class some say could grow to be the largest in the world.
Posted in Business, China, Economics, Economy, Investment, Luxury
Tagged China, consumption, Economy, family office, finance, financial, financial trends, Investment, middle class, trend, wall street journal
IPO Follows Record Revenue In Macau Last Month And Indications That Beijing Will Loosen Visa Restrictions F0r Mainland Chinese
Macau, the "Vegas of the East," is bouncing back to life after a tough year
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Las Vegas-based casino operator Wynn Resorts is looking for as much as US$1.6 billion (HK$ 12.6 billion) “based on pricing set over the weekend for a Hong Kong listing of the company’s Macau assets next month.” This IPO could precede others by foreign casinos in Macau, as the article notes that Wynn competitor Sheldon Adelson may also be eyeing a Hong Kong listing for his company as it emerges from the global economic downturn — which put a sizeable dent in several construction projects that had been slated for the Venetian Macau last year.
The relatively quick rebound of the Chinese tourist (or, even more likely, Cantonese gambling enthusiasts from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and elsewhere in Guangdong province) has injected a much-needed dose of optimism among major companies in Macau, which depend greatly on the continued spending and investment of mainland Chinese visitors and companies as well as the capital and expertise of foreign casino operators like Wynn to keep the former Portuguese colony’s growing economy running smoothly.
Over the weekend, Wynn and its bankers set a price range of between HK$8.52 and HK$10.08 per share for the IPO, the person said. The company is offering 1.25 billion shares, equivalent to 25% of the equity of Wynn’s Macau operations, the person added. The company had earlier been expected to raise about US$1 billion in its offering.
Posted in Business, China, Economics, Economy, Investment, Luxury
Tagged Business, China, finance, Investment, IPO, macao, macau, sheldon adelson, steve wynn, wall street journal, wynn resorts
Yuan-Backed Sovereign Bonds Seen As Major Step In Building Market For Yuan As A Global Currency
Recent moves show that the internationalization of the yuan is a major priority for the Chinese government
The Shanghai Daily reports today that the Hong Kong SAR government is set to debut a new class of bonds denominated in the Chinese RMB, a move seen as a significant milestone in China’s ambitious plan to make its yuan a more global currency. While articles about the yuan’s potential status as a major currency have multiplied in the last year, particularly following People’s Bank of China director Zhou Xiaochuan’s call earlier this year for the US dollar to be replaced as the world’s de facto reserve currency, less-publicized moves such as China’s currency swap agreements with several countries, and an expansion in the issuance of yuan bonds from commercial banks, have largely flown under the media radar.
With the announcement of these new yuan-denominated bonds, it is clear that China hopes to make Hong Kong even more of an international financial hub. Although the territory has, for decades, been a major financial power in the region, with its more relaxed political and financial system, Hong Kong looks to be one of the most accessible areas for China to experiment with some of its more long-term financial projects. With the strong linkage between Hong Kong and Shanghai — sometimes playfully referred to as “Shangkong” — if this program is successful it may mean more fluid and regular investment in yuan bonds by foreign investors as well as a simultaneous boost to the yuan’s reputation abroad.
As the Shanghai Daily article explains, the Chinese Ministry of Finance will offer $878 million (6 billion yuan) worth of the bonds to retail and institutional investors beginning on September 28:
Peng Wensheng, head of China research at Barclays Capital, said that while the amount is not large, it is a significant development in the internationalization of the yuan and for the development of the Hong Kong bond market.
“The issue broke new ground in an effort to promote the domestic currency as an international currency,” Peng said yesterday.
Posted in Business, China, Currency, Economics, Economy, Investment
Tagged beijing, bonds, China, finance, financial, hong kong, internationalization, renminbi, RMB, shanghai, shangkong, world bank, yuan, zhou xiaochuan
Stock Fluctuations Lead Investors To Continue Searching For Diversity: Gold, Diamonds, Art, And Wine
Diamond and gold producers and contemporary art and wine auction houses are increasingly targeting Chinese investors and sovereign wealth funds
Today’s Financial Times has a feature on investors who are turning to traditional hedges against stock market turbulence, and the way major diamond producers like DeBeers are ratcheting up their marketing and outreach efforts to get these people’s attention. Although diamonds fell mainly out of favor in recent years in many developed countries due to their sometimes controversial nature, diamond consortia have seen their fortunes turn around rapidly as they increased their foothold in emerging markets like Russia and China.
Posted in Art, Automobile, Business, China, Chinese Art, Currency, Economics, Economy, Investment, Luxury
Tagged Art, auction, China, contemporary art, debeers, diamond, diamonds, finance, foreign investment, gold, hedge, india, Investment, investor, London, RMB, russia, sovereign wealth fund, wealth