China Stock Party Won't Last
Editor's note: This column was submitted by Stockpickr member Faisal Laljee, author of StocksandBlogs.com.
I hate to be a party pooper, but the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the excitement surrounding all the recent China stock IPOs reminds me of the Nasdaq exuberance of 2000.
Granted, China is growing at a 10% pace, but does that justify the 80 multiple currently sported by the Shanghai Stock Exchange, especially when compared to the meager 16 multiple of the S&P 500? We may be seeing hints today of a more rational market to come -- check out Bubble Fears Circle Chinese Tech Stocks from this morning.
It seems as though every day, all day, I see new tickers scroll across my TV screen representing new companies I've never heard of: China Digital TV (STV), China Natural Resources (CHNR), China Finance Online (JRJC) ... the list goes on. Many have no history of earnings.The Chinese market is up 110% so far this year and more than 200% since January 2006. Even stocks like China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA), China Life (LFC) and Baidu (BIDU), stocks that actually have an earnings history and have some claim to investor confidence are up like the Ciscos (CSCO) and Aribas (ARBA) of the tech bubble. I don't know when the party will end, but it will definitely end unless we see a near-term, decent-sized correction. And when it ends, I would hate to be holding anything that starts with the word China. My recommendation: If you are a gambler, keep betting on China until one day you lose a lot of money. Otherwise, reduce your exposure to China (note I say "reduce" because I don't know when a top will come -- nobody does). Go long Russia (RSX), India (IFN), South Africa (EZA), France and even Indonesia. Alternatively, you can pick up select names in Latin America, Europe, Turkey and Brazil. There are plenty of ways to make 30% to 40% returns a year without the risk of losing your shirt.
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