I have a confession to make: I am Foolishly in love with Chinese stocks. To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning "How do I love them? Let me count the ways..." While I've covered some of these reasons in a previous article, I couldn't resist another chance to spread the love.
First, I love the continued strength of the Chinese economy, which is expected to grow at a robust 9.5% clip in 2007. This may be slightly slower than the 10.5% rate in 2006, but it's still nothing to sneeze at.
Second, I adore the increasing profitability of Chinese companies, especially private ones. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, these corporations posted a 54% gain in profits through the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006. I don't know about you, but I think those results are pretty impressive.
Third, I'm thrilled that the Chinese government is finally moving to tackle corporate tax reform. That should lead to substantially lower taxes for listed Chinese companies. Did I mention that my belief that the yuan will significantly strengthen against the dollar?
Last but not least, I love knowing that most Chinese companies listed on the biggest U.S. exchanges are not overvalued, given their growth potential. I know that you've probably heard many folks on CNBC and elsewhere talking up a "bubble" in Chinese equities. They fail to mention that this bubble is confined to the Chinese domestic market -- i.e., in trading A-shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges -- and is driven by domestic Chinese investors who are unable to invest in Hong Kong, New York, or other markets.
Think I'm being foolish? Take a look at PetroChina (NYSE: PTR ) . The top integrated oil player in China trades at 11 times fiscal 2007 estimates, in line with Western majors like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , while offering an industry-leading yield of 4.1% and above-average production growth. How about online game operator The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY ) ? Its shares trade at around 19 times forward earnings, a 27% discount to its long-term growth rate.
Given the overall strength of the Chinese economy, the increasing efficiency (and profitability) of many Chinese companies, and the attractive valuations of many "red-chip" companies, I believe that investors should consider opening their hearts to this emerging market's potential rewards, and adding to their positions during any weakness.
Further rosy Red Foolishness:
What's sending Fools' hearts aflutter? Go back to our intro page to see what else we have a crush on.
Fool contributor Will Frankenhoff is enjoying his time writing for The Fool more than, reading The Financial Times, rooting for the Jints, or taking a nap. He welcomes your feedback, and does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. The Fool has a disclosure policy.