Strategy Insights. Moving toward an all-market approach to investing in China

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1 Strategy Insights Moving toward an all-market approach to investing in China As China transitions from an economy that is driven by manufacturing to one led by its consumers, we are seeing the Chinese investment universe expand and vast investment opportunities created. Historically, global investors have chosen to invest in Chinese equities via the offshore channel, which is through Hong Kong-listed Chinese equities. With China gradually opening its capital markets in various ways and more Chinese enterprises successfully listing overseas, the investment options as well as opportunities have increased significantly. Given the changing investment landscape, we are seeing a growing trend toward investors adopting an all-market approach to investing in China. William Yuan Associated Director All-market approach to China An all-market approach is a strategy where global investors choose to invest in different types of Chinese equities listed on the various exchanges as the restrictions limiting access to mainland China s equity markets gradually become less of a concern. Here, we point out some of the distinct characteristics of the different Chinese equities. Compared with other markets around the world, China has numerous types of Chinese equities as represented by the different share classes from the ongoing development of China s capital markets (see Appendix 1 at end). We find it s best to divide all the share classes into two categories: offshore and onshore Chinese equities. We believe the two categories combined offer investors a far more comprehensive selection of investment opportunities in China. Offshore companies defined The MSCI China index is typically used to represent offshore Chinese equities. Offshore Chinese equities are Chinese companies listed outside of China, in which international investors are able to invest with full access to the listed shares. This includes Hong Kong-listed share classes such as H-shares, red chips, privately owned Chinese companies, as well as companies listed in the US, London and Singapore. Recently, there has been an increase in the listings of companies in the US and Singapore, especially in the information technology (IT) sector, and this has further broadened the investment opportunities set. Onshore companies defined The Shanghai-Shenzhen Composite Index (CSI3) is the index that best represents onshore Chinese equities. Onshore Chinese equities are domestic China A-shares that are listed on the mainland in Shanghai or Shenzhen that are not fully accessible to international investors. At present, global investors can invest in China A-shares via the QFII (Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor), the RQFII (Renminbi QFII) and the recently launched Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect program. 1 1 Onshore Chinese equities also include B-shares listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in US dollars and Shenzhen Stock Exchange in Hong Kong dollars.

2 We believe the movement toward an all-market approach to China is quite positive as more and more investors widen their investment opportunity set. As a result, we believe it s important for investors to be aware of the different characteristics of Chinese equities when they make allocations. Characteristics of offshore and onshore Chinese equities Opportunity set Combining onshore and offshore equities can provide greater diversification Offshore China sector breakdown (MSCI China) Offshore China sector breakdown (CSI3 Index) Financials 42% Information technology 14% Telecommunication services 11% Energy 9% Industrials 8% Utilities 4% Consumer discretionary 4% Consumer staples 4% Health care 2% Materials 2% Source: Invesco, FactSet as of July 31, 215. An Investment cannot be made into an index. Financials 38% Industrials 19% Consumer Discretionary 1% Information Technology 7% Materials 7% Consumer Staples 5% Health Care 5% Utilities 5% Energy 3% Telecommunication Services 1% There are opportunities among offshore Chinese equities across all industries. However, they are primarily large, established Chinese companies that include leading public enterprises as well as some traditional Chinese conglomerates. We use the MSCI China Index as a proxy for offshore Chinese equities, although there are a number of other indexes that can be used. In the MSCI China Index, the largest sector allocation in offshore Chinese equities is financials (42% as of July 31, 215), followed by IT and telecommunication services. Using the Shanghai-Shenzhen Composite Index (CSI3) as a proxy for onshore Chinese equities (A-shares), the largest sector is financials, followed by industrials and consumer discretionary. Onshore Chinese equities are known to have more consumer-related companies than what is available offshore. While there is definitely a large number of state-owned enterprises listed on the mainland, increasingly there are more privately owned companies as well. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or eliminate the risk of loss. Investor profiles Institutional and retail investors take different approaches in different markets Offshore China investor base Free float cap basis Onshore China investor base Free float cap basis Institutional Retail Institutional Retail 25% 37% Trading Ownership Trading 18% Ownership 45% 63% 55% 75% 82% Offshore China refers to Hong Kong Equity Market; Onshore China refers to A-shares Ownership=Investor ownership as % of free float market cap Trading=Investor % of average daily turnover Source: Wind, Bloomberg, FactSet, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research. Free-float is the portion of shares that can be publicly traded in the market, excluding locked-in shares such as those held by companies, promoters and governments. Hong Kong institutional and retail turnover is dated as of April 3,

3 The investor base for offshore Chinese equities is much more diverse with a good mix of experienced global institutional investors and local retail participants. With offshore China markets (Hong Kong) being largely driven by global institutional investors, it s no surprise that greater emphasis is placed on fundamentals and relative valuations. Unlike offshore equities, China s onshore markets are very domestic-retail-driven and are still developing. In fact, individual investors account for well over 82% of the daily trading volume on the mainland. This means more consideration is paid to momentum and sentiment rather than company fundamentals, which opens up opportunities for experienced investors to potentially capitalize on price inefficiencies that may arise. Market liquidity China is among the most-liquid markets globally Free float market cap (US$bn) 25, US Japan China UK HK Australia South Korea Taiwan South Africa India Brazil Singapore Mexico Russia Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Chile Philippines Poland Turkey Colombia Qatar Peru UAE Greece 14 Day average trading value (US$bn) 5 US Japan China UK HK Australia South Korea Taiwan South Africa India Brazil Singapore Mexico Russia Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Chile Philippines Poland Turkey Colombia Qatar Peru UAE Greece 2, 4 15, 3 1, 2 5, 1 Source: JP Morgan, as of April 22, 215. To calculate the free float we use the MSCI free float factor for all markets except for Hong Kong, Russia and South Africa where we calculate the free float for the Hong Kong Composite Index, MICEX, and JSE. Market cap uses all exchanges covered by Bloomberg for a specific country and primary security of company only. Trading value calculation for Russia, Mexico and Brazil, includes value of depository receipts traded (DR) along with local stock exchange turnover. South Africa and Australia market capitalization and trading value includes only local listed portion of dual listed stocks. On a global scale, Hong Kong (includes HK-listed offshore China shares) is the fifth largest equity market behind the UK. On a free-float basis (measuring the market cap of readily available shares), Hong Kong is almost the same size as the UK. One distinguishing point about Hong Kong is that given the market s large global institutional investor base, market trading activity was much more stable than in China but this also means turnover was lower than mainland markets. Looking onshore, although China s markets are still developing, given the size of the economy, China s onshore equity market is now the second largest in the world behind the US on a total-marketcapitalization basis. It s the third largest when measured in terms of its free-float market cap. On a cash-turnover basis, it s over three times larger than the Asia Pacific ex-china region as well as Japan s Topix or the US s S&P 5 Index. 2 Given the size of both the Hong Kong and China markets on a global scale, investors will find liquidity to be of little concern when dealing in both offshore and onshore Chinese equity markets. 2 Source: Bloomberg as of April 22, 215. Topix=Tokyo Stock Exchange Tokyo Price Index and S&P 5=Standard & Poor s 5 Index. 3

4 Valuations Offshore and onshore valuations are below the 1-year average but at far different positions Offshore China price earnings ratio (MSCI China Index) Onshore China price earnings ratio (CSI3 Index) 7/5 7/6 7/7 7/8 7/9 7/1 7/11 7/12 7/13 7/14 7/15 7/5 7/6 7/7 7/8 7/9 7/1 7/11 7/12 7/13 7/14 7/ x (+1 Standard deviation) x (+1 Standard deviation) 11.7x Average x Average x (-1 Standard deviation) 5 6.8x (-1 Standard deviation) Source: Invesco, FactSet as of July 31, 215. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An Investment cannot be made into an index. Turning to valuations, offshore Chinese equities listed in Hong Kong are at 9.6x price-to-earnings (PE) (12-month forward as of July 31, 215) with a price-to-book ratio (PBR) at 1.3x. 3 These valuations are close to their historical lows, which is making them look quite attractive. Looking at the PE for offshore China (MSCI China Index) large caps versus small caps, one will find both are cheap with the 12-month forward PE for large caps at 11.6x, which is close to 1.6x for small caps. 3 Meanwhile, overseas-listed companies, such as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), are more growth-oriented, in sectors such as internet and health care, with relatively higher valuations. In contrast to offshore Chinese equities, given the different investor base, onshore equities have traded at a premium to offshore Chinese equities. Even after the dramatic correction, the CSI3 Index was still at 13.3x PE (12-month forward as of July 31, 215), with PBR at 1.9x. 3 Onshore Chinese equities have also exhibited higher market volatility, often overshooting on both the upside and downside. This is especially evident in equities listed on the small- and mid-caps board (SME board, incepted in 24) and the growth enterprise market (GEM board, incepted in 29), which traded at 75x (12-month forward PE) at the peak in June 215. Unlike offshore equities, onshore large caps are priced at 16.1x 12-month forward PE compared to the more expensive 54.5x for small caps. 3 Retail investors in China have been known to favor small caps, which partially accounts for higher valuations for onshore small caps. Moving to an all-market approach to China As the investment landscape in China continues to develop, the movement toward an all-market approach will continue to grow. We therefore believe it s important for investors to be aware of the different characteristics of Chinese equities. Chinese markets are clearly much more liquid than many may imagine. However, onshore Chinese equities are not fully accessible yet and can be momentum-led compared with offshore Chinese equities, which are more fundamentally driven. Over time, as China opens its markets and the onshore investor base broadens, we are bound to see a better balance in both onshore and offshore Chinese equities. For the time being though, we concentrate on offshore equities, with a slight allocation to onshore equities. 3 Source: FactSet, Goldman Sachs and Institutional Brokers Estimate System (I/B/E/S) database. All valuations as of July 31, 215. Large cap: market capitalization over US$1 billion and small cap: market capitalization of between US$ 3 million to $2 billion. 4

5 Appendix 1 Offshore/onshore Chinese equities (as represented by different share classes) Share class Definition Currency Class/ # of US$ mn Exchange active cos Mkt cap Est available Mid cap* Offshore equities H Shares China securities incorporated in Mainland China, HKD H shares , ,2 listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Red-Chips China securities of state owned companies incorporated outside Mainland China, listed on the Hong Kong Exchange HKD Red chips , ,1 Overseas listed shares China securities incorporated outside Greater China, listed on the NYSE, Euronext, NASDAQ, NYSE AMEX and Singapore USD, SGD, GBP N/S/L Shares ,46 153,691 P-Chips China securities of non-government owned HKD P-chips 1,132 2,31,272 1,25,146 companies incorporated outside Mainland China Onshore equities A Shares B Shares Securities incorporated in Mainland China, listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges Securities incorporated in Mainland China, listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange RMB USD, HKD USD HKD A shares Shanghai Shenzhen B Shares Shanghai Shenzhen Source: FactSet, Goldman Sachs as of August 17, 215; *estimated free float market cap 2,622 1,39 1, ,114,216 4,926,475 3,187,741 33,166 19,465 13,71 4,6,452 2,431,47 1,575,45 29,254 17,976 11,278 Renminbi (RMB) is the official currency of the People s Republic of China. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States. Price-to-book ratio (PBR) is the financial ratio used to compare current market price to total book value. Price-to-earnings ratio (PE) is an equity valuation multiple comparing the current market price to total earnings per share. The MSCI China Index is an index created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that measures the equity market performance of 144 constituents Chinese equities listed in Hong Kong as H shares, red chips and privately owned Chinese companies as well as B shares. The Shanghai Shenzhen Composite Index (CSI 3) is a free-floated index that consists of 3 A-share stocks listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen Stock Exchanges. The Tokyo Stock Price Index (Topix) is a capitalization is a weighted index of large and mid-sized companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The S&P 5 Index (S&P 5) is an unmanaged index considered representative of the US stock market. 5

6 About risk The risks of investing in securities of foreign issuers, including emerging market issuers, can include fluctuations in foreign currencies, political and economic instability, and foreign taxation issues. China remains a totalitarian country with the following risks: nationalization, expropriation, or confiscation of property, difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments, alteration or discontinuation of economic reforms, military conflicts, and China s dependency on the economies of other Asian countries, many of which are developing countries. To the extent the fund invests a greater amount in any one sector or industry, there is increased risk to the fund if conditions adversely affect that sector or industry. Depositary receipts involve many of the same risks as a direct investment in foreign securities, and issuers of certain depositary receipts are under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications to the holders or to pass through to them any voting rights with respect to the deposited securities. Growth stocks tend to be more sensitive to changes in their earnings and can be more volatile. Larger, more established companies may be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges such as changes in consumer tastes or innovative smaller competitors. Returns on investments in large capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in smaller companies. Stocks of small and mid-sized companies tend to be more vulnerable to adverse developments, may be more volatile, and may be illiquid or restricted as to resale. Smaller companies offer the potential to grow quickly, but can be more volatile than larger-company stocks, particularly over the short term. Note: Not all products, materials or services available at all firms. Advisors, please contact your home office. All data provided by Invesco unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. These opinions may differ from those of other Invesco investment professional. All material presented is compiled from sources believed to be reliable and current, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment-making decision and is not an offer to buy or sell any financial instrument. As with all investments, there are associated inherent risks. Please obtain and review all financial material carefully before investing. This does not constitute a recommendation of the suitability of any investment strategy for a particular investor. Invesco Advisers, Inc. is an investment advisor; it provides investment advisory services to individual and institutional clients and does not sell securities. Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd. s retail products. Each entity is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd. invesco.com/us APTDC-INSI-1-E 9/15 US9759

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