After half a year of spectacular equity market performance to some the clouds of slowing economic growth cast doubt on China’s ability to maintain the rally….
– However, that view over-emphasises the correlation between GDP performance and equity market performance. The link between economic and equity market performance has never been straight-forward. Indeed, China may follow a path similar to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan during their early stages of development. That indicates that equity market performance will accelerate during periods of financial market liberalisation rather than periods of strong economic growth.
– A number of exogenous events may also prove to be supportive for both China’s domestic equity market and China’s role in the global economy. MSCI is due to evaluate the inclusion of China A-Shares in its Emerging Markets Index this June. The IMF is also due to conduct its five-yearly Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket review this October. Renminbi inclusion discussions could become a catalyst for significant currency market liberalisation and a seismic shift in the role of the Chinese currency in international trade and finance.
– We expect reform to remain the focus of policy makers’ agenda this year, with lower economic growth an acceptable by-product of stability. The authorities are unlikely to let growth fall substantially lower however, as that could stoke political unrest and undo the hard work of the reform agenda. We expect some policy easing, primarily in the form of lower interest rates and a reduction the Reserve Requirement Ratio in coming months.