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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: A Slowdown In Currency Internationalization

    As the renminbi’s once-steady appreciation against the US dollar has lost steam, so has the pace of currency internationalization. After doubling in size from early 2013 to early 2014, thanks to strong growth in Taiwan and South Korea, total offshore renminbi deposits have barely increased in recent months. In January, renminbi deposits actually declined by more than 2% in Hong Kong, the currency’s largest offshore center.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - The Price Of Reform Without Openness

    For years, increased openness was the companion of reform. Xi Jinping believes openness is dispensable, and is clamping down on the internet, academia and civil society. His program may work, but bodes ill for the hope that China can become an innovation hub.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - China's Climate-Change Turnaround

    China was blamed for the failure of the last big climate-change talks, in Copenhagen in 2009. Will it be able to take credit for the success of the next round, in Paris this year?

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - How China Will Gain From Lower Oil Prices

    China has surpassed the US as the world’s biggest oil importer. The plunge in crude prices gives it new leverage in its quest to diversify its sources of supply.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - The Great Gas Price Conundrum

    For years, China’s problem has been finding enough new supplies of natural gas to satisfy its voracious demand. Now, the critical issue is to get prices right.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - King Coal's Long, Slow Decline

    Just a few years ago, the notion that China’s coal use might soon stop growing was laughable. Now it seems likely that peak coal demand is imminent.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2015 - When Realism Bleeds Into Paranoia

    The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury (Henry Holt, 2015)

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ: Energy And Climate Change

    This issue of the CEQ explores the dramatic and sometimes contradictory changes in China's energy picture. China is now the world's biggest importer of oil and by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. But the economic slowdown and pollution reduction policies are also starting to bite, sharply curbing growth in energy consumption.

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    Gavekal Research

    The New Normal Will Not Be 7% Growth

    How far have China’s famously growth-obsessed leaders really dialed back their growth expectations? We fear not quite enough. China has given up on pursuing 10% growth, but still wants to keep growth of at least 7%. We do not think this is possible, for at least three reasons: history, housing and leverage.

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    Gavekal Research

    The Oil Bubble Implosion

    Since the late 1980s, oil prices have only collapsed by -50% or more over a six month period on two occasions: during the 2008 crisis and in the period since last August. In itself, this begs some interesting questions: does the sudden drop in the WTI and Brent price mean that the world economy is falling apart? Or that oil is set to bounce back? Or finally, that oil was in a bubble which has now imploded? At this juncture, the first option...

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    Gavekal Research

    Investing Along The New Silk Road

    In China, political slogans matter. They help to set the agenda, acting as political weather vanes. In recent months, “One Belt, One Road” has become a signature slogan of Xi Jinping’s administration. A contraction of “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” “One Belt, One Road” describes Beijing’s policy of financing and building transport infrastructure across Eurasia, the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean—aka the...

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    Gavekal Research

    Growth & Markets Monthly (March 2015)

    Our latest monthly report shows that the modest recovery in growth indicators, which started last month, has continued. Since central banks are engaged in aggressive easing action on a number of fronts, it would be surprising if this improvement does not continue. In addition, our velocity indicator has rallied and hovers at a six month high, which mirrors the low level of the VIX index. Such readings point to a “risk-on” environment, but we...

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    Gavekal Research

    From Managing Growth To Managing Debt

    China’s central bank has announced another interest-rate cut—but how many more is it prepared to deliver? The latest move reduced benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25bp, after last November’s 40bp cut, a response to the growing pressure to ease the financial strain on companies from falling prices and weak growth. Indeed, we think monetary policy decisions in China are increasingly driven not just by the classic issues of growth and...

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (25 February): Global Property Wrap

    Overview: Property gets a bad rap from macro-economists as an “unproductive” asset. This mistakes its true value in modern economies, argues Anatole Kaletsky. United States: Despite recent soft housing data, the US housing market is ready to rip, say Will Denyer and Tan Kai Xian. Europe: Francois Chauchat argues that Europe’s housing market may have entered a gently rising cycle for the first time since 2007. China: Property sales have picked...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Overview: The Importance Of Property

    Property, both residential and commercial, is the world’s oldest investment and, in the long run, the most reliable and profitable store of economic value. Like the world’s oldest profession, however, it operates in the financial shadows. Property lacks the transparency of mainstream asset classes such as equities, bonds and currencies, with no completely objective price benchmarks to measure returns reliably even in sophisticated markets such...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Property's Supply-Side Correction Continues

    Over the past few months, the long-running decline in China’s housing sales has clearly bottomed and started to improve. December’s sales decline was just 4% YoY, compared to the 16% drop in July. But while this kind of improvement in previous cycles would have translated into a similar turnaround in construction activity, that has not been forthcoming this time.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Asia: Hong Kong's Pro-Cyclical Property Roller Coaster

    Nowhere is the US Federal Reserve’s eventual decision to raise interest rates awaited with greater trepidation than in Hong Kong’s property market. The territory’s currency board link to the US dollar means that Hong Kong had no choice but to import US interest rates when the Fed cut its own benchmark short term rate to zero at the end of 2008. With safe haven funds flooding into the city’s financial system, Hong Kong banks cut their residential...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Oil Insecurity Is Not Going Away

    For the world’s second-largest buyer of crude oil, the collapse in oil prices is a great bargain: the import bill for the 6mn barrels of oil shipped to China every day has halved in the space of a few months. But does now-cheap oil mean that the billions of dollars China spent buying oil assets abroad, or on loans to friendly governments of oil-producing countries, have been a waste? We doubt China’s policymakers are losing much sleep over this...

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    Gavekal Research

    A Sheep In Goat’s Clothing

    In the West, ‘sorting the sheep from the goats’ is a common metaphor for separating the good from the bad. The Chinese language, however, does not differentiate between the two species. So as the year of the sheep (or goat) approaches, it is perhaps understandable if some investors are asking which sort of beast China’s offshore dim sum bond market represents. With China’s growth slowing, with the renminbi down -2.3% against the US dollar in the...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Can The New Silk Road Revive China’s Exports?

    The various New Silk Road initiatives add up to one of the biggest and most elaborate export-promotion plans in history. Yet even this new brand of checkbook diplomacy may struggle to reverse the global economic forces that have been weighing on Chinese exports.

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