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    Gavekal Research

    Toward A Renminbi-Gold Standard

    As the international trading and monetary order of the last 50 years continues to crumble, the endgame must be the US dollar losing its lofty position at the apex of the system. Louis and I have argued that this process began in and around 2005 as the US moved to “weaponize” the dollar, thereby ensuring the renminbi’s emergence as a competitor.

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    Unpicking The Tourism Effect

    Despite a worsening Covid-19 situation in many big developing economies and concerns over central banks’ monetization responses, emerging market investors continue to climb the wall of worry, betting that a putative “second wave” does not stymie the recoveries of developed economies and China. But another challenge for EM economies is a collapse in foreign tourism.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Recovery Tapers Off

    Although Q2 GDP growth rebounded strongly after Q1’s significant contraction, sequential growth slowed considerably into June. In this Quick Take, Thomas, Rosealea, Wei and Xiaoxi report on why despite this latest rebound it will be difficult for the country to maintain its upward momentum as it moves into Q3.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Singapore's Policy Path

    Just days after securing another five years in power at the ballot box, Singapore’s government announced that the island republic’s gross domestic product contracted a worse-than-expected -12.6% year-on-year in the second quarter. However, with large accumulated fiscal reserves, the government has considerable scope to spend in order to stimulate Singapore’s economy.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Pick Your Side

    The British government’s decision to block Huawei from the UK’s 5G mobile network, confirmed yesterday, is further evidence that the post-Covid world is splitting into two opposing security blocs. International distrust of China is hardening along ideological lines, spurring liberal nations to prioritize national security over economic growth.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Bumpier Road To Semiconductor Supremacy

    The Chinese semiconductor industry has made substantial progress over the last year, making credible gains in both design and production—despite attempts by the US to stymie China’s advancement. In this report, Dan explains how the US has escalated its anti-China campaign and outlines the rough road ahead for the industry.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    India’s Pharma Problem

    India, the world’s pharmacy, is in danger of running out of drugs. The source of the danger is India’s deteriorating relationship with China, which provides up to 70% of the bulk ingredients for India’s pharmaceutical industry. Most Indian pharma makers hold at least two months of stock, but if the situation is not resolved, the global pharma supply chain could be disrupted.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: China's Capital And Bond Markets

    On Tuesday morning Thomas Gatley and Wei He joined Arthur Kroeber to discuss the Chinese equity bull market and the major reversal in the bond market.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    How To Burst A Bubble

    Chinese equities surge ahead, and officials are worried that markets are coming dangerously close to resembling the dramatic boom and bust of 2015. In this report, Thomas makes the case that the current rally has no basis in fundamentals and outlines how regulators are trying to guide equities back to reality without causing a panic.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Have Equities Become A Bubble?

    Two weeks ago, Louis proposed three possible explanations for the exceptional performance of equity markets in the second quarter, one of which was that investors have taken leave of their senses. In this, the second paper of a three-part series, Louis asks if equity markets are in a bubble. And if so—crucially—what sort of bubble is it?

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Monetary Policy Emergency Is Over

    The Chinese government bond market has seen its biggest reversal in more than three years. Conflicting policy signals have made the priorities of China’s central bank difficult to decipher; in this report, Wei explains why it has now clearly returned to its “selective” easing mode of delivering targeted rather than broad-based economic support.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Local Support For Housing Is Peaking

    National housing sales growth is likely to accelerate in June following May’s rebound on the back of supportive measures from local governments and easier access to credit. In this report, Rosealea outlines how the surge in sales might peak soon due to diminishing returns from local government stimulus as well as more cautious monetary easing.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Is This What Capital Flight Looks Like?

    The bearish scenario for Hong Kong was that a combination of protests and Beijing’s heavy hand would trigger the flight of capital—financial and human—jeopardizing the peg and the financial system. Yet despite months of protests, and Beijing’s subsequent clampdown, the financial elements of this doomsday scenario have completely failed to materialize.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    India Eyes Up Uncle Sam

    After the border clash with Chinese troops on June 15, India is on the verge of a strategic reorientation towards the United States that will reshape security in Asia. A full formal military alliance with the US would be a red rag to the Chinese bull, and therefore remains unlikely. But India is set to deepen its strategic partnerships with the US and other like-minded countries, especially Japan and Australia. It will also weaken its ties with...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Behind The Bull Run In Chinese Stocks

    Chinese equity markets are bounding higher on ebullient animal spirits. The CSI 300 index is up some 12.5% YTD in renminbi terms Monday morning. While the sequential rebound in profits from the first quarter’s dire situation has been heartening, the prospects for year-on-year earnings growth cannot justify this exuberance.

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    Gavekal Research

    An Upgrade For The Jeep Portfolio

    In the Covid-19 crisis, Charles’s “Jeep” portfolio, introduced at the end of 2017 and expounded on in mid-2019, has amply demonstrated its worth, outperforming a pure equity portfolio, but with much lower volatility. In this paper, Charles reviews the Jeep portfolio once again, upgrading its components to navigate a post-Covid world.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Japan And Korea Split On China's Rise

    Japan and South Korea have responded differently to China’s attempts to peel them away from the US. Japan continues to align closely with its ally, while South Korea is more ready to accept that China as the regional power. In this report, Yanmei and Dan explore the logic behind these decisions and what they mean for the regional power balance.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Uneven Rebound In Consumption

    The recovery of consumption in China is coming, but it will be an uneven one. In this piece, Thomas explains how the combination of recent negative surprises on public-health restrictions with positive surprises on jobs and income will shape the trajectories of different consumption categories, from food to autos to electronics.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Singapore Beyond July's Election

    Although a new opposition political party is making Singapore’s current election season somewhat more interesting than past campaigns, the outcome is not in doubt: the ruling People’s Action Party will be confirmed in power for another five-year term. In this short video interview, Vincent looks beyond the July 10 poll to survey the economic and market outlook for the island republic.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, June 2020

    Yesterday Louis Gave, Will Denyer and Andrew Batson joined Arthur Kroeber at the Global Investment Roundtable. They discussed the economic growth and market situation in the US, the state of the Chinese recovery, and what a post-Covid-19 world might look like.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The US Takes Action Against Military Fusion

    New regulations from the US Department of Commerce which go into effect on Monday could deny US-origin technologies to a broad swath of Chinese companies. In this Quick Take, Dan explores which firms are most at risk of falling afoul of these regulations and how their supply chains might be affected.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Towards More Of The Same?

    Investors looking at the impressive rally in global equities since mid-March have been forced to come to one of three conclusions: (i) the Covid-19-induced halt to our economies will soon fade away like a bad dream, (ii) equity investors are crazy, or (iii) a growing number of investors think the cash they hold is bound to become worthless.

    13
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Future Of Hong Kong

    Whither Hong Kong? After a year of political turmoil, uncertainty about the city’s prospects is the highest it has been in decades. This 20-page DeepChina report examines Hong Kong’s historical trajectory, and concludes the city is in long-run decline—even though it will continue to be an important financial gateway between China and the world.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Behind The Resilience Of Hong Kong's Markets

    Hong Kong has been beset by a string of bad news, from mass street protests, through Covid-19, to national security legislation of unknown scope and severity imposed by the mainland. Yet you wouldn’t guess it from looking at the city’s property market—the world’s priciest—or its stock market where several mainland tech companies are lining up to do their initial public offerings. Vincent explains the disconnect.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    A Friendlier Supply Chain Required

    Covid-19 has revealed reliance on Chinese supply chains as a serious national security risk. But shifting manufacturing of vital goods to other parts will be no easy task, especially when alternatives like Vietnam remain so dependent on imports from China themselves. Meanwhile, the pandemic has made other potential locations—notably India—less attractive.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    China Legislates For Hong Kong

    The summary of Hong Kong’s national security law released on Saturday is a tough read for advocates of a common law system. It represents a hybrid of China’s and Hong Kong’s legal systems that effectively ends the separation of powers between the executive and judiciary. How quickly the city changes as a result depends on the severity of enforcement.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Most Cautious Of Central Banks

    China’s medium-term lending facility rate and the loan prime rate were left unchanged in June, while short-term market interest rates have risen. In this Quick Take, Xiaoxi argues that, though the PBOC is likely to cut policy interest rates further this year, the pace of rate cuts is likely to be slower in the second half than in the first.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Explaining The Iron Ore Surge

    Chinese iron ore prices have surged by 30% since May due to growing Chinese demand, shrinking Brazilian supply and increased logistics costs. In this Quick Take, Rosealea explains why prices are likely to remain elevated in the coming months but might fall precipitously in the second half of the year.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Range Of US Sanctions

    US President Donald Trump has pledged a response to Beijing’s decision to impose national-security legislation on Hong Kong, and has now signed legislation to sanction officials involved in the crackdown on Uighurs in Xinjiang. In this piece, Dan outlines the various legal tools that the US can bring to bear and their possible effects.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: High Stakes In The Himalayas

    In this video, Udith argues that the mayhem seen on the India-China border this week will provide another catalyst for Indian nationalists who want to lessen the country’s reliance on China, even if that means accepting far slower economic growth.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Sticks And Stones May Break A Trade Relationship

    Monday night’s deadly face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Himalayan mountains threatens to rupture a burgeoning trading relationship between Asia’s two largest nations. Diplomats should be able to deescalate military tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries, but it may be harder to normalize economic ties.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Market’s Perception Of Scarcity

    It is a long-running trope of Gavekal’s research that assets can have value either as tools or as jewels. Tools have efficiency value and jewels have scarcity value. The rule that seemed to govern the relative performance of these over the last 50 or so years appears to have broken down. Louis wonders if this is because investors have reversed their perceptions of what is "scarce" and what is "abundant".

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Arbitrage Comes Out Of The Shadows

    The Covid-19 pandemic has shocked China’s financial regulators into allowing a substantial rebound in total credit growth. But they are not worried enough to abandon their strict control of shadow finance. As Xiaoxi explains in this piece, a recent bounce in the shadow finance numbers is due to a popular arbitrage which is now being contained.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Beginnings Of A Plateau

    China’s economic data for May continued April’s wider recovery; however, Thomas, Rosealea and Xiaoxi argue that this upward momentum is losing steam. Weak external demand, tapering industrial production and Beijing’s aversion to further monetary easing all support the idea that China’s post-Covid bounceback is starting to plateau.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Froth Comes Off

    Recent weeks saw telltale signs of markets getting silly: firms with no sales reaching U$26bn valuations; airline-focused exchange traded funds jumping from US$50mn in size in January to US$1.5bn, and bankrupt firms becoming five and 10 baggers. This kind of activity may lead to one of three conclusions.

    4
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Can Small-Business Lending Be Fixed?

    As China tries to get the economy back to normal, it is focusing more on the plight of small businesses, who have lost weeks or months of revenue to the pandemic. Yet it has resisted offering the loan guarantees other countries have employed. In this piece, Xiaoxi assesses the other tools China is using to boost lending to the smallest firms.

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    The Derating Of The Dollar

    In the last four weeks as market participants have reassessed relative risk premiums, they have found it increasingly easy to identify currencies which at the margin are looking more attractive than the US dollar. As a result, the dollar has weakened both against developed world and emerging market currencies. This weakness is acquiring momentum, and may have further to run.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Threat To Chinese Tech

    The US is deepening its effort to limit Chinese technology giant Huawei’s access to components that rely on American design, which may prevent Huawei from rolling out 5G networks. The US is also broadening its efforts to constrain Mainland tech firms by using sanctions that impact suppliers to China’s government and military.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Property Balancing Act

    Local governments are balancing between encouraging housing construction and containing excess housing inventory. Although they have struck a balance so far, Rosealea argues that the growing vacancies in lower-tier cities coupled with depressed household consumption render current policies unsustainable in the long run.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Accelerating Into Inflation

    Long-time readers will be familiar with Gavekal’s Four Quadrants framework, which describes how the economy alternates between periods of inflation and deflation, and cycles from boom and bust and back again, and which we use to illustrate which asset classes investors should favor and when. Although this is one of Gavekal’s oldest frameworks, it provides an extremely useful way to think about how the macroeconomic environment is set to evolve...

    6
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    US Politics Versus Chinese Stocks

    Financial markets are the latest field in which US-China political tensions are playing out. Thomas describes two lines of attack US hawks are pursuing against China: blocking Chinese firms from US equity markets and pressuring US asset managers to avoid Chinese equities. The risk associated with Chinese stocks has therefore materially increased.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Charm Offensive For Supply Chains

    As multinationals in China face growing pressure to shift their supply chains elsewhere, China’s government is doing everything it can to hold on to them. As Dan explains in this piece, China’s ability to get businesses back on their feet after the Covid-19 lockdown is a great advertisement for its attractiveness as a place to do businesses.

    6
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Upsurge In Oil

    The price of Brent crude oil has doubled in the past six weeks, supported by the beginning of a recovery in demand as economies come out of lockdown and by expectations that the Opec+ cartel will extend the deep production cuts it agreed in April. Tom weighs the forces likely to drive the oil market over the coming months.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Webinar: China's Economic Outlook After The NPC

    China research director Andrew Batson was joined by China macroeconomist Wei He and Asia analyst Vincent Tsui to discuss the news from the National People's Congress and what it means for China's economic recovery, the likely direction of fiscal and monetary policy, and the consequences of Hong Kong's national security law.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Property Rebound In May

    Property sales are quickly recovering from their Covid-19 crash, with upward momentum that should continue for several months to come. However, Rosealea argues there are growing risks that China’s property market will start overheating, forcing policymakers to step in and leading to a downwards drift by July/August at the earliest.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Case For Commodities

    For most of the last decade, we have been in a period of low investment in the commodity sector. Yet, over the next 20 years the global population will grow by almost 2bn—a 25% increase. Migration into cities will continue, with the world’s urban population growing by almost 50%, creating enormous demand for infrastructure.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: Recovery And Its Risks

    As economies have begun to emerge from their coronavirus lockdowns, there remain two big near-term macro risks that could derail a recovery. On one hand, solid demand on top of massive central bank monetary expansion could fuel rising inflation. On the other, a big round of permanent job losses could dent demand and slow the economic recovery.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Chill On Corporate Capex

    The Covid-19 lockdown led to a historic collapse in corporate capital expenditure in early 2020, but what comes next? In this piece, Thomas introduces a new model for understanding China’s investment cycle. Private-sector capex should stay weak in the second half of 2020, lagging public-sector infrastructure spending, but rebound in 2021.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    As The World Reopens

    A few weeks ago, I outlined three scenarios that could unfold as the world reopened for business. Since then, it looks like the market is starting to tentatively position scenario #3 in which the world economy rips and inflation rises due to pent-up demand, budget deficits, low oil prices and money printing. This makes sense, but the rotation may soon face a number of challenges.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Renminbi As Collateral Damage

    The rise in US-China tensions over the past week is taking a toll on China’s currency, which has weakened to CNY7.15 to the dollar from around CNY7.10, approaching its lows of last September. This has raised a worrying question: is China about to use currency depreciation as a weapon in its widening dispute with the US?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, May 2020

    Yesterday Louis Gave, Charles Gave and Anatole Kaletsky joined Arthur Kroeber at the Global Investment Roundtable. They discussed different scenarios for how and when the world’s major economies can exit the Covid-19 crisis and what it means for investors.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market (Part IV)

    Over recent weeks, Louis has examined in detail nine “Kitsune” tail risks which could blindside financial markets in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. But in contemplating these tail risks, Louis has been forced to wonder if he has missed the forest for the trees, overlooking perhaps the greatest risk of all for investors: that the 40-year inverse correlation between equities and bonds may be breaking down.

    4
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Infrastructure Faces Fiscal Constraints

    Hopes for an infrastructure boom are rising after China’s legislature approved a record amount of bond sales. But as Wei explains, the Ministry of Finance’s conservative budget targets will still limit how much localities actually spend. Infrastructure investment is headed for around 10% growth in 2020, not enough for a very strong recovery.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Hong Kong And The Ethic Of Responsibility

    German sociologist Max Weber made the distinction between the ethic of conviction, based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and the ethic of responsibility, based on consequentialist philosophy, a grandchild of Aristotelian logic. The distinction between the two may help investors to determine their response to developments in Hong Kong.

    10
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    Gavekal Research

    The Death Of Old Hong Kong

    On Monday morning, the streets around Gavekal’s offices in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district teemed with harried commuters rather than baton-charging police and political protesters. Unfortunately, uncertainty about Hong Kong’s future as a free society will linger longer than the tear gas that had drenched the area a few hours earlier. There is now a fair chance that China’s imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong will cause a chain...

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Truth About Unemployment

    China’s government is promising to deliver stability in employment this year, although it has not made a full accounting of how the Covid-19 lockdown affected jobs. In this report, Ernan presents comprehensive estimates of the scale of job losses: in the range of 60-100mn. This is far more than China’s social safety net is designed to handle.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Aiming For Stability Without A Target

    The coronavirus has made a mockery of China’s annual growth target, so the leadership has done the only sensible thing: given up on it. In this Quick Take, Andrew explains how that decision, and the fiscal measures rolled out at the National People’s Congress, show how China is not trying to drive a rapid rebound to its previous growth trend.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Corporate Bond Crisis That Wasn’t

    China’s corporate bond market has not been bothered by the biggest shock to the economy in decades. In this piece, Xiaoxi explains why, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no surge in defaults, spreads have barely widened and new issuance has surged. A continued bull market in government bonds will be more good news.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Surviving A US$100bn Funding Gap

    Developing economies are struggling from reduced trade and harder access to capital. They also face a US$109bn cut in remittance income this year as construction sites in the rich world close, ships stay in port and restaurants are shuttered. This could spur a spiral of poverty and protest that ends with debt defaults that even suck in well-managed emerging markets.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    A US Full-Court Press Against China

    The US-China relationship has deteriorated rapidly, and the main reason seems to be that Donald Trump has decided that a “tough on China” approach should be central to his reelection campaign. Acrimony between the two countries is likely to get much worse between now and November, and US actions are starting to spread from technology to finance.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    April’s Fitful Recovery

    China released economic data for April showing a continued recovery in industry and investment as well as a surprising recovery in exports. In this Quick Take, Thomas argues that with exports headed for a substantial decline, this upwards trajectory is likely to plateau in May.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The World Has Changed, Quick! Buy More Of The Same

    As countries around the world, and some US states, are starting to emerge from their enforced Covid-19 hibernation, investors have to choose between one of three potential outcomes. Either the virus re-emerges and causes new lockdowns, the post-Covid-19 world is not growth friendly, or pent-up demand and supportive policies leads to global growth ripping.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Chinese Bond Rally Is Not Over Yet

    China’s bond market is selling off on rising optimism about the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown. But Wei argues that this rise in bond yields looks like a false alarm: China’s economy is not about to begin a V-shaped recovery and its central bank is not yet finished with monetary easing. The bond bull market still has some way to run.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: The Kitsune Market — Tail Risks In An Unnatural Time

    Most of the world’s big economies have been shut down in response to a pandemic disease—a truly unprecedented event. This led to extreme market moves and also generated an unusually large array of tail risks. Louis likens these to the nine tails of the magical kitsune or fox of Japanese mythology. In yesterday's webinar he elaborated on this idea.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Services Recovery Gets Back On Track

    China’s government is substantially relaxing restrictions on travel, retail and other consumer services as its Covid-19 outbreak gets further under control. In this Quick Take, Rosealea outlines the near-term outlook for a recovery in consumer services, as well as the factors still weighing on that recovery.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market (Part III)

    In this third part of a series assessing risks thrown up by massive government interventions to stop Covid-19 lockdowns turning into an economic depression, Louis turns his sights on efforts to prevent bankruptcies at all costs. He also considers the rapidly fraying US-China relationship and existential choices faced by Saudi Arabia as it decides how to handle a collapse in oil prices.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Return Of Special Treasury Bonds

    China’s government will once again issue “special treasury bonds” this year, a tool last used in 2007, but has not yet revealed how the funds will be used. In this piece, Wei surveys the options on the table and argues these special bonds are more likely to fund indirect support to the economy rather than to ramp up direct fiscal stimulus.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: China And Emerging Markets Update

    China has started to reopen its economy, but it is proving hard to get Chinese consumers and small businesses up and running again. He Wei and Andrew Batson provided the latest updates on policy efforts to revive China’s economy. Udith Sikand reviewed the broader outlook for emerging markets.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Pandemics, Protests And Outperformance

    Hong Kong’s GDP contracted almost -9% year-on-year in the first quarter, as the impact of the coronavirus hammered an economy already severely weakened by the last year’s anti-government street protests. In this video interview, Tom examines the storms battering Asia’s premier financial center, and accounts for the resilience of its financial system.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Hard Times For China's Soft Power

    Public opinion over China’s responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic has hardened across the developing world. On the African continent matters have been made worse by simmering rows over the treatment of Africans by Chinese, both in China and in Africa itself. As the resentment spreads, writes Tom, it threatens to undo decades’ worth of effort by Beijing to apply “soft power with Chinese characteristics”.

    9
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Military Fusion Sparks US Reaction

    The US government has unveiled new rules that will make it more difficult for US companies to sell high technology to Chinese firms with any military connections. In this piece, Dan explains the risks of these new rules for both US companies and the many Chinese firms participating in their government’s “military-civil fusion” campaign.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Earnings Crunch Arrives

    Earnings season for China’s listed companies has finished, and the numbers are not pretty: the aggregate net profits of non-financial firms fell by 51% YoY in Q1. In this Quick Take, Thomas assesses the damage to earnings and outlines the consequences for the corporate sector.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: Emerging Markets Under Pressure

    Aside from China, emerging markets have not been hit as hard as rich countries by Covid-19, but their asset markets have been hammered. An optimistic view holds that undervalued EM assets can now bounce back. Udith and Vincent are more cautious: a dollar-squeeze could yet hurt markets that have otherwise decent fundamentals and attractive valuations.

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    The Benefit Of Panicking Early

    Among industrialized nations, Taiwan stands out as the least affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Taiwan chose to “panic early” by barring entry to foreign travelers, enforcing strict quarantines and assiduously tracking potential infections. The payoff has been no material disruption to domestic activity, which should lead to continued outperformance of the Taiwan dollar.

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    The Truth About Banks And Bonds

    As I elucidated last week Knut Wicksell’s key idea was that in any market economy there are not one, but two key interest rates, whose relative position drives the cycle. The theory makes good sense, but computing the two rates is tricky. My insight is that I don’t need to compute these two rates but instead measure the structural performance of bank equities in each market.

    10
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    Webinar: Modeling Projections For The Covid-19 Epidemic

    Gavekal Intelligence Software is collaborating with ETH Zurich and Shenzhen's Southern University of Science & Technology to track the spread of Covid-19. GIS principal Didier Darcet presented the findings in a conversation with Louis Gave

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    New Infrastructure, Old Problems

    China is promising a boost in so-called “new infrastructure,” of which 5G network development is a major component. Dan explains how the scale of spending involved in building 5G infrastructure is too small to provide a meaningful boost to growth, and why any possible economic benefits from a faster mobile network will not be realized anytime soon.

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    The Kitsune Market (Part II)

    Last week, Louis introduced the Kitsune, Japan’s mythical nine-tailed fox, and outlined four tail risks which could upend investment after Covid-19. Today he examines two more important tail risks: that the pandemic might not prove deflationary but inflationary, and the risk that the market’s “don’t fight the Fed” mentality could collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.

    10
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Why The Recovery Slowed In April

    Every economic indicator in China bounced upward in March, as the government relaxed its lockdown. But the trajectory of the recovery since then has not been as strong: many high-frequency indicators have plateaued in April. In this piece, Ernan explains how China’s cautious policymakers have kept many restrictions on daily activities in place.

    5
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    The Kitsune Market

    The Kitsune, the mythical Japanese fox which portends a change of fortune, has nine tails. Inspired by the unnatural conditions in markets, Louis has identified nine tail risks which could upend the investment world over the short to medium term. In the first installment of a two-part series, he outlines four tail risks that investors should consider hedging against.

    12
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    No Swift Recovery For Corporate Profits

    Broad equity indexes in China seem to be faring much better than they should, given the poor Q2 outlook for Chinese corporate profits. Thomas surmises this is due to investors’ belief that policy stimulus will grow to 2009 levels and continue into Q3—a belief that is likely to disappoint, leading to a potential correction in H2.

    2
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    Steel Prices Signal Stability

    Steel prices have stabilized after falling around 10% from their peak, reflecting a relatively rapid recovery in construction activity from the Covid-19 lockdowns. In this piece, Rosealea argues that the steel market is signaling a stabilization in China’s domestic demand from improving housing sales and a boost to infrastructure spending.

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    Webinar: Outlook For The US Economy And Global Markets

    In Tuesday's webinar, Will Denyer reviewed the economic situation in the US and suggested how investors should position their portfolios, and Louis Gave presented his global macroeconomic view, taking into account the remarkable developments in the oil market.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Macro Update: Climbing Out Of The Hole

    After lockdowns produced a historic contraction in activity in February, China’s economy began climbing out of its deep growth hole in March. In this chartbook, the Dragonomics team outlines the shape of the recovery, explains which sectors are leading and which are lagging, and breaks down the policy response and implications for markets.

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    The Shape Of Things To Come

    As the US and Europe prepare to enter their second month of lockdown, the good news is that social controls, where they are imposed, are working. The less good news is that the exit from lockdowns is going to be long and arduous. It is likely that in most major Western nations, economic activity will remain at levels significantly below normal until well into the fall.

    2
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    The Pressure For Debt Relief

    Pressure is growing from struggling developing economies for a new round of debt relief. The difference with past campaigns is that the world’s biggest creditor to such nations is China, which could be owed at least US$380bn. China is likely to adopt a pragmatic approach and negotiate one-on-one forbearance agreements that end up costing it tens of billions of dollars.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    East Africa’s Chinese Gamble

    China’s deep economic roots in Africa provoke alarm in the US and concern among debtor nations, especially as some costly infrastructure projects prove financially unviable. But our latest in-depth DeepChina report explains why China’s presence is generally welcome in East Africa, even as the era of huge loans and megaprojects draws to an end.

    7
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    Heading In The Right Direction, Slowly

    The Covid-19 epidemic now seems firmly under control in most major economies, and the direction of the disease data is consistently positive. From an infection-control perspective, the outlook is much more positive than when we did our last major review. The path to economic recovery, however, still looks slow and rocky.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Choosing Currency Stability

    In the global crises of 1998 and 2008, China chose currency stability over competitive devaluation—and in the coronavirus crisis of 2020 it is making the same choice. In this piece, Wei argues that preventing capital outflows outweighs the PBOC’s other priorities for now, even if this means having to accept a less competitive currency.

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    The Revenge Of The Little Grey Men

    There is a strange contradiction in most developed economic systems as they have been driven by freely assembling entrepreneurs who operate on the basis of money, which is the ultimate tool of state coercion. Charles is worried that the private, risk-taking element of our economies may be fully extinguished by responses to the Covid-19 crisis.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Poor Prognosis For US-China Ties

    The Covid-19 pandemic has been bad for the health of the US-China relationship, which was already in poor shape. In this piece, Arthur explains how US security hawks have seized the opportunity to hammer home the argument that China is untrustworthy, pushing the US debate over China policy in a more confrontational direction.

    2
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    An Anti-Fragile Beauty Contest

    Following the 2008 crisis, the S&P 500 bottomed on March 9 2009. Since then, an investor in physical gold would have gained 82.2% while an investor in 10-year US treasuries would have made gains of 65.6% (with coupons re-invested). But with both assets testing their pre-crisis highs, there are several reasons to believe that gold is now set to outperform structurally.

    9
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    Webinar: The Outlook For China And Emerging Markets

    Arthur Kroeber spoke on the macro situation in China. Michael Clendenin, principal of Gavekal RedTech, presented their work on consumer sentiment and activity in China. Udith Sikand gave a rundown of what's happening in emerging markets.

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    New Concerns For A New World

    We are in uncharted policy territory. Never before have we seen the kind of GDP contractions now being projected for most OECD countries, and never before have investors had to deal with such extremes of uncertainty. Against this backdrop, Louis attempts to answer 10 of the most burning questions posed by clients about the shape of the post-Covid-19 world.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Reshuffling Global Supply Chains

    Globally distributed production has already become less attractive since the 2008 crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic will intensify the trend for global manufacturing to reduce its dependence on China. Dan argues this will encourage supply chains to become more robust, more decentralized and, ironically, more truly global.

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    Destroying The Economy To Save It

    Remember the American military officer in Vietnam who explained US tactics by saying “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it?” Well in the not too distant future, we may have to accept that our economic policymakers have adopted the same tactics in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A New Stage In The Monetary Cycle

    While the People’s Bank of China remains more conservative than other global central banks, it is now clearly signaling to the market that liquidity will remain loose for the foreseeable future. This means low interest rates and, according to Wei, favorable conditions for a Chinese government bond rally.

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    Webinar: Looking Through The Lockdowns

    Andrew and Rosealea discussed China’s slow return to normal, the state of the property and construction sector, and warned of the global demand shock China will face due to Covid-19. Will outlined his view on asset allocation in light of the shock to the US economy and the asset price adjustments that have taken place so far.

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    Rearranging The Deckchairs For Profit

    When everything is falling apart around you, the urge to do something—anything—becomes irresistible. A good solution is to start rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It may not change the bigger picture, but it keeps you busy and does no harm in the longer term. In this spirit, allow me to suggest a little rearrangement that should do no harm, and could even be very profitable.

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    Waiting For Godot (21st Century Edition)

    For years, investors have been waiting for China’s massive accumulation of debt to lead to a “Minsky moment”. Instead, in the Covid-19 crisis it is Western central banks that are blowing out their balance sheets in a desperate attempt to stabilize financial markets and their economies—while Chinese government bonds have proved “anti-fragile”.

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