Hao Hong: Chinese QE?

  • The PBoC continues to ease. Interest rate/RRR cuts should be expected, property will be supported, leverage will rise. While not QE, it is not petty.
  • China’s M2 is expanding faster than credit. There is plenty of liquidity in the system, but few takers. It will take some time for the easing policies to work.
  • Three divergences, public vs. private, domestic vs. foreign, up- vs. downstream, as shown in M2 vs. new loans, the CNY, and CPI vs. PPI are hinting at a cyclical recovery.

Hao Hong: Farewell, COVID-0

  • The direction is clear – China gradually reopens. Cases will surge, confusion will grow, and market will be volatile. Stay positive.
  • The longer-term trend of the Dollar begins to turn down, boding well for risk assets.
  • Hang Seng appears to be emerging from epic depression. Internet platforms should outperform as China reopens and demand for home deliveries soars.

Hao Hong | Outlook 2023: A Cyclical Recovery

  • China finetuning “COVID-Zero”; flames of “Dual Circulation” turning blue. The Chinese authority is finetuning “COVID-0”, at a juncture when negative exports growth for the first time in 29 months and negative retail growth are suggesting receding demand both home and abroad. Yet onshore market rebounded strongly – from a similar level last seen at the onset of COVID in Mar 2020.

    China’s export cycle, an intermediate economic cycle running every seven years, has peaked in Feb 2021, and has translated to slowing accumulation of current account surplus compared with GDP. The export cycle correlates closely with China’s stock market cycle via the liquidity created via its export cycle. Thus, a peaking export cycle argues against a “secular bull market” suggested by consensus.
  • Economic cycle near turning point, but arduous property recovery likely. The short cycle as measured by the property investment cycle, however, is nearing its turning point, but still needs a catalyst to initiate a new cycle over the course of next twelve months.

    There are many similarities between now and early 2014. For instance, both periods saw Fed tightening and Chinese property struggling, and the authority eventually came to the rescue. There are also analogs in the market trajectories in both periods. For instance, the Shanghai Composite struggled in the first few months in 2014. 

    Meanwhile, the US short economic cycle is receding from its peak, but not yet appropriately reflecting the recessionary risks confronting the US economy. Given the intertwining of the US and Chinese economies, US macro volatility will find its way to Chinese markets and onto the world via exchange rate, commodities, stocks, and bonds.
  • Shanghai ~3-3,500, Hang Seng ~16-23,000, with bouts of volatility. Easing into Cyclicals/Growth over Defensive/Value. Our base case is that China will reopen gradually with zigzags, its property sector will recover slowly with policy support, and a 2023 US recession. If any of these three uncertainties is better than expected, such as faster reopening, swift property recovery or no US recession, it will add to our base-case payoff.

    China margin cycle is re-expanding and bodes well for the relative performance of cyclicals and growth over defensive and value. Intuitively, if China reopens and property recovers, cyclical demand should improve. And growth, too.

    Of course, the risk is China stays a hermit, property continues to ail, and a US recession. Such triple whammies would render a risk scenario similar to what we have been through in 2022 – no need to elaborate further. Even so, the epic volatility in 2022 suggests that we should have seen some of the lowest points in the Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng Index in the current cycle.

    It is time to look forward.      

Hao Hong: “A Trillion-Dollar Tweet”

  • Last week’s epic rally started around the nadir seen in first COVID outbreak in Feb, 2020. Since then, the US welded its fiscal/monetary prowess, while China sticking to COVID-0. Chinese market is back to square one. The US will follow.
  • Both US and Chinese growth assets fell victim to a growth slump. Vietnam, the “Next China”, is not spared.
  • Hong Kong short covering. But soaring HIBOR augurs for volatility surge in the coming months originated from the US market.