One story that spooked investors a little earlier this week was economic data out of China, which showed that growth has slowed.
But remember, headlines are meant to be eye-catching. Let me put it in real perspective for you. China is still on track to see its economy grow more than the prior year for the first time since 2010, and growth for the first half of the year was 6.9%, more than double the U.S. We’re not seeing the same crazy growth as 10 years ago, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s still very strong and is now more sustainable.
There is no doubt that China, Asia and some other emerging markets are still a NexGen mega-trend that investors have to pay attention to. The opportunities are just too big to ignore.
Want proof? This past Saturday was Single’s Day in China, and all we really need to know about it is that it was the largest shopping day in the history of the world. That certainly qualifies as a mega-trend. The day is also called “Double 11” because it takes place every year on 11/11 – lots of ones, which represent being single. It’s really more of a day for China’s growing middle class to go on a huge spending frenzy.
Alibaba (BABA), the country’s e-commerce giant, reported sales of over $25 billion in that one day, which is 40% growth over last year. At one point, there were 325,000 orders coming in per second. That works out to 19.5 million orders every minute!
The closest comparison in the U.S. would be the start of the annual holiday shopping season from Thanksgiving Day until Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online shopping day of the year here. In 2016, that five-day stretch accounted for $12.8 billion in sales, or half of what Alibaba did in one day.
The U.S can’t match those kinds of numbers, and that’s true across many sectors and industries. For example, China recently joined the growing list of countries that have vowed to eventually ban vehicles with internal combustion engines, which opens up interesting possibilities in the electric vehicle market and the related NexGen trend of growing lithium demand.
China Leads the IPO Frenzy Too
China’s middle class continues to grow and spend, and that’s generating opportunities for both businesses and investors. This week happens to be the busiest week of the year for initial public offerings (IPOs) here in the U.S., and the group of companies going public is led by three Chinese companies. A total of 11 Chinese companies have gone public in the U.S. this year, with nine of those coming just since September.
The trend is clear:
- 11 Chinese IPOs so far in 2017
- 7 in all of 2016
- 4 in 2015
It’s one thing to go public, but it’s a whole other thing to be successful at it. The recent IPOs are making money, which I’m sure helps explain the sudden surge. Those nine companies that just have gone public since September are up an average of 22% from their initial price. Not bad for a few weeks of work.
Two technology leaders in China have been behind the pick-up in Chinese IPOs, and both are NexGen stocks I recommend in several of my investing services – Alibaba (BABA) and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY). We’ve done well in both, making more than 40% so far in TCEHY from the first time I recommended it and nearly 6% in BABA.
Here’s what I mean by how these companies are behind the growth in Chinese IPOs: Last Thursday, a company called Sogou (SOGO) debuted in the U.S. It is a search engine and internet company, and Tencent owns a sizable 43.7% chunk of it. Also worth noting, Tencent owns 62% of a company called China Literature, which is the country’s largest online publishing and e-book company. China Literature went public last week in Hong Kong and demand was huge. The company raised $1.1 billion from its IPO, and the stock doubled on its opening day. Tencent was also involved in the IPO of Sea (SE), an Asian music streaming company. It hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start, but don’t write it off yet.
Alibaba was behind the U.S. IPO of Best (BSTI), a company that uses cloud-based software (another mega-trend) to operate “smart” supply chain services for companies. BABA also backed the IPO of Chinese credit company Qudian (QD), which started trading here in the U.S. in mid-October and gained more than 21% on its first day.
The amazing opportunities in China may not be the hot topic they were a few years ago, but investors who underestimate the potential there and the amount of money to be made are making a big mistake. The trends are powerful, sustainable and investable.
In fact, one of the great things about investing in China is the various ways it can be done. I’ve recommended an emerging market e-commerce exchange-traded fund (ETF) in my NexGen Profit Multiplier service that has already earned us more than 7%, and we’ve layered on top of that big gains in TCEHY. Some of the bigger companies like BABA are also candidates for options trades to provide yet an additional boost to our bottom line.
The emerging markets have put together a solid year already, and with valuations more attractive than their peers, investors should continue finding value in the right stocks. The trends point to more growth and plenty of emerging market opportunities in the future, so make sure they are a part of your investing.