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E.g., 21-01-2021
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Policymakers Are Concerned, With Good Reason

    China’s labor market has held up relatively well so far this year despite a pronounced slowdown in growth. But the actions of policymakers and the trajectory of the economy both suggest that there will be more bad news for the job market in the second half of the year. Official indicators of employment in China are patchy, but the published figures have been resilient.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The End Of The Margin Squeeze

    The profits of Chinese industry have not grown since August, but the worst of this crunch now seems to be over. The fall in industrial profits was all but guaranteed by the combination of an extended slowdown in housing construction and the aftershocks of the collapse in commodity prices in late 2014 (see Profits Under Pressure). But thanks in part to the recent stability in oil prices, China’s industrial sector is on course to avoid a worst-...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    China: QE Or Not QE?

    Press reports that China’s central bank is preparing to launch quantitative easing may give investors the impression that the People’s Bank of China is about to join the ranks of major central banks that have embraced unconventional monetary policies. This impression would be false. The PBOC is certainly in easing mode, but its methods have been, and will continue to be, entirely conventional. With the benchmark deposit rate still at 2.5%, the...

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    The Pros And Cons Of A Bull Market

    In sharp contrast to their approach in 2007, Chinese government officials are actively encouraging the current bull market in onshore equities, repeatedly saying that rising share prices are a good thing for China. We agree that there are definite economic advantages to the run-up in stocks, but it is also worth keeping an eye on the risks.

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    Gavekal Research

    No One Likes To Pay Taxes

    No one likes to pay taxes, and a good few try to find a way around it. Perhaps this is why the US tax code and associated practice notes runs to 74,000 pages. Pretty much everyone feels better equipped to spend their own money than the government, and rightly so (anyone who pretends differently is a hypocrite; or did not earn their money themselves). This is why as people pay more tax there is demand for a clear accounting of the services...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Maritime Silk Road Or “String Of Pearls”?

    China’s strategic expansion into the Indian Ocean is causing jitters in both Washington and Delhi. This week Xi Jinping pledged to finance a whopping US$46bn of investments in Pakistan, a large chunk of which will fund a 3,000km “economic corridor” from the Arabian Sea to northwest China. The route will begin at Gwadar, a Chinese-run port near the Iranian border, which Indian security experts fear will become a strategic base for the Chinese...

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (22 April): Global Trade

    Overview: Charles Gave argues that an era of globalization and expanding world trade is coming to an end. On balance, he says this is no bad thing. United States: The negative impact of the strong dollar on US exporters will become clear once disruption from the early year port strikes on the US West Coast clear up according to Will Denyer and Tan Kai Xian. Europe: Europe’s huge trade surplus is purely a German issue. François-Xavier Chauchat...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Trembling Giants

    Political and public pressure is building for an overhaul of China’s state-owned oil companies. China National Petroleum Corp. and Sinopec Group, formed in the 1980s from government departments, are among the largest companies in China and their influence is difficult to overstate (two other state energy firms, CNOOC and Sinochem, are smaller and less powerful). Nevertheless the political winds are now blowing against them and a change of some...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: No Mourning For The Death Of Outsourcing

    What is China doing about the loss of a big driver of export growth? Back in the days when total exports were growing at a 20%-plus annual rate, up to half of that growth came from the outsourcing of manufacturing assembly to China (we use processing trade, a customs arrangement used by many outsourcing factories, as a proxy). But the outsourcing boom of the 1990s and 2000s has faded lately. Since 2012, processing trade has essentially stopped...

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    Gavekal Research

    Fuel To The Fire

    As if the flames under Chinese equities weren’t hot enough already, Beijing is busy throwing fuel on the fire. Yesterday the People's Bank of China said it would cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 100bp, with an extra 100bp cut for small rural institutions. This is the greatest reduction in RRRs since November 2008 in the depths of the global financial crisis, and unlike the previous cut in February it is not intended merely to...

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    5C Overview: Why The Coming Collapse Of World Trade Should Be Celebrated

    Sustained economic growth has always gone hand-in-hand with a big rise in communications infrastructure. To explain why, assume that a country has two cities, named A and B. At the point that a modern communication infrastructure is built (road, trains, internet) then, in each case, a single line of communication is needed. Three cities implies the need for three lines; a fourth city means six lines. Ultimately, if all the cities are to...

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    Gavekal Research

    The Crocodile Mouth About To Close

    What is the most significant macro event thus far in 2015? Most of our clients would likely answer the collapse in oil prices. Or perhaps the European quantitative easing program and the fall of the euro. Others, more bearishly inclined, may highlight the relentless and tedious process towards Grexit, the underwhelming US macro data or the devastating Middle-Eastern civil war. These are all perfectly valid answers—in fact, we made a number of...

    16
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    Gavekal Research

    Slumping Growth, Booming Market

    The gap between China’s booming stock markets and slumping economic growth just got a lot wider. Figures for the first quarter published today showed a picture of nearly unrelieved gloom, with most growth readings at their weakest since the first quarter of 2009 when China was suffering from the global financial crisis. This poor performance is not surprising, given the structural slowdown in the housing market, falling corporate profits, anemic...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Perils Of Leadership

    Around 50 countries have signed up to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. A year ago, when Beijing began to draw up plans for a new multilateral lender, no one could have guessed that it would cause such a global stir. We first wrote about China’s attempt to provide an alternative to the US-dominated system of global development finance last June (see [China] A Chinese Bretton Woods?). But it is too early to conclude that the...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Best Of Both Worlds In Hong Kong

    My mother often said that the main reason she pushed Charles to return to work following the sale of his previous business in the mid-1990s was that having a retired husband was the worst of both worlds: “Less money and more husband”. On this measure, Hong Kong should be happy today. In its troubled marriage with mainland China, it looks very much as if Hong Kong is about to get “more money and less mainlanders” out of its conjugal partner. In...

    1
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Developers Fatten Up For The Long Winter

    China’s beleaguered property developers are finding their way to a new strategy. While the real-estate boom of the past decade rewarded those who could build the most the fastest, the structural slowdown in housing demand that is now underway (see Housing’s Next Decade) calls for a different approach. Consolidation not expansion is the order of the day: in 2014, developers sharply increased their spending on mergers and acquisitions, even as...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Buy On China Skepticism

    Widespread skepticism about the power of monetary policy at the outset of easing cycles can provide great investment opportunities. Despite clear lessons about the effects of central bank activism in the US in 2009, Japan in 2012 and Europe in 2014, international investors still doubt the quality of the bull run in China’s onshore stock markets ignited by the People’s Bank of China. As a result, even though the Shanghai A-share market has...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (8 April): The Outlook For Bank Earnings

    Overview: With banks’ earnings squeezed on one side by flat yield curves, and on the other by tech companies encroaching on their traditional consumer-facing business lines, Louis wonders where the banking sector will generate future earnings growth United States: Doing More With A Flatter Yield Curve: Now consumers have deleveraged, and with strengthening demand set to drive a pick-up in corporate investment, Will argues that earnings growth...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Short Tale Of Iron Ore's Long Fall

    Commodity prices boom when supply is slow to respond to surging demand, and collapse when supply finally catches up. The iron ore market is clearly in the second phase now, with global supply surging just as Chinese demand slows. In this piece we outline the fundamentals for iron ore, which mean that prices will remain lower for longer.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    One Belt, One Road, One Grand Strategy

    In what can only be described as a triumph for Chinese financial diplomacy, some 48 countries had defied US disapproval to sign up for Beijing’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank by yesterday’s deadline. The applicants included not only Europe’s big four economies, but staunch US allies such as Saudi Arabia, geopolitical rivals like India, and even Taiwan, which China does not recognize as a separate country.

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