How is coronavirus affecting the Chinese equity market?

Geoffrey Wong, Head of Emerging Markets and Asia-Pacific Equities, thinks the coronavirus outbreak does not affect the long term prospects of Chinese companies.

Our base case: we still think this is similar to SARS and the bird flu, which doesn't change the fundamental story. Clients are investing in the winners of the transformation of the Chinese economy.

Some stocks have benefited from this situation. This was the case where the business model is also based on online-activities, e.g. in the online education sector. Students who didn't go to school for some time due to the virus joined online tutorials which has increased demand for these services.

In case of permanent measures to contain the coronavirus, consumer behavior might change. We would then look for companies in the healthcare sector which would likely benefit from this situation.

In China, consumption is now more than 50% of the economy. The consumption story remains very important, especially the premium segments of the consumer sector offer attractive opportunities.

In contrast to other emerging markets, population demographics trend in China is negative, leading to an ageing population. This trend again produces winners and losers. The losers are mostly in the manufacturing sectors, winners are among healthcare, insurance and wealth management, sectors we are all invested in.

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