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China Being Infosys 🔀


We’ve been positive in China since the beginning of 2023. The view was driven by simple reasoning. While the world is at risk of dipping into a recession, China is at the beginning of an expansionary phase, which will be fuelled by domestic consumption, fiscal stimulus and a supportive monetary policy.


China’s GDP projections however appeared quite tepid, with the government expecting 5% growth in 2023. That seemed to disappoint the markets and put a pause on the rise in Chinese equities.


But we reckon the lower-than-expected projections are more like the game Infosys used to play back in the day - guide low and deliver high.


A few data points over the last month have only substantiated our Infosys analogy for China:

  1. China’s exports jumped 14.8% in US dollar terms in March 2023, compared to a year ago, whereas economists forecasted a 7% fall

  2. Retail sales grew 10.6% in March 2023, the biggest jump since June 2021

  3. Manufacturing investments rose 7% during the first quarter of 2023, pumped up by higher factory output

  4. The property market is finally showing signs of a bounce back, with prices swelling at their fastest pace in 21 months

  5. The economy grew by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2023, outstripping expectations of 4%

Clearly, things are picking up, and many, including Goldman Sachs, now believe that China’s GDP will outpace its own expectation of 5%, and instead grow by 6% in 2023. This is steep compared to the 3% growth clocked by China in 2022.


In any case, while the world is slowing down, China is rising. And valuations seem extremely supportive of a strong positive move on Chinese equities given the fact that valuations are at a discount to their own 5/10/15 year averages.


In our all-weather portfolios, we’ve taken exposure to Chinese equities using the Nippon India Hang Seng BeES. However, there are some other options available as well: Axis Greater China Equity FoF, Edelweiss Greater China Equity Offshore and Mirae Asset Hang Seng Tech ETF.

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