2022 Investment Views: Asian equities

Moving on from a challenging year

After a volatile 2021 , Charlie Dutton believes China is nearing the end of this regulatory cycle, which could provide investors with greater certainty.

23 Nov 2021

2 minutes

Charlie Dutton
After a volatile 2021 , Charlie Dutton believes China is nearing the end of this regulatory cycle, which could provide investors with greater certainty.

The fast view

  • Much of the regulation that has prompted the volatility is actually a positive move by the government, and we believe we are nearing the end of this regulatory cycle.
  • We believe that – particularly within China tech – there is very little material economic impact from this new regulation coming through.
  • Quality is continuing to emerge in Asia within healthcare, IT and consumer; the underlying fundamentals in the region remain strong.
  • The negativity this year has created buying opportunities which we have taken advantage of, and we see this theme continuing in 2022.
Q How would you summarise the recent environment?

Asian equities have obviously been very volatile this year given the significant level of regulation which has been coming through in China. However, I think a large amount of that regulation has been misconstrued globally, in terms of the end outcome, and I am actually relatively positive about the regulation that has been put in place, particularly in the China tech sector. I feel we are reaching the end of this regulatory cycle and that most of the regulatory bodies in China have put forward the regulation they require.

Q What are your expectations for 2022? 

I think 2022 could present a compelling opportunity in Chinese equities as a whole because I feel we are now able to move on from this volatile year with greater certainty. Investors will be able to go back and more accurately assess what the economic effect actually is on these businesses going forward in terms of regulation. We believe that – particularly within China tech – there is very little material economic impact from this new regulation coming through. In fact, one could argue that it provides investors with greater certainty around these business models.

I think there will obviously be concern around the likes of Evergrande and what is happening in the property sector but, again, I think the Chinese have an economic system which enables them to have a controlled management of the property cycle going forward. So, I don’t see the macro risk as being too severe.

Q Where are the biggest opportunities in Asian equities? 

We believe the underlying fundamentals around Asia as a whole, not just China but looking within India, Korea, Taiwan, still remain incredibly strong and we are very focused on what is occurring within the quality sphere. We are continuing to see the emergence of very strong companies within healthcare, IT and consumer, and the strong, longer-term trends are still in place, so we expect a continuation of that.

While we expect that there could be some macro volatility on a global basis, particularly around inflation concerns and interest rates, we believe these structural long-term growth stories are more able to see through that and have the pricing power to look through inflationary cycles.

Q What is your investment strategy?

There have been so many negative headlines around China that there has been a general de-risking from a global perspective around positioning in China. We believe that has created attractive opportunities within some stocks, which have had very little impact from what is happening in China from a regulatory perspective.

I think this will be a theme going forward, in that any bumps in the road with regards to China on a sentiment basis will provide us the opportunity to keep adding to these strong, well-run businesses.

Authored by

Charlie Dutton
Portfolio Manager, Asia Pacific Franchise

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