Last week China created SAFE, a new investment agency which will seek higher returns on its foreign currency reserves of more than $1 trillion. I like the Chinese - they can nail it down. Today, most of their reserves consist of US treasuries, which are apparently considered UNSAFE:
"China's central bank holds about 70 percent of its currency reserves in dollars and had a 2006 loss of 26 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) from exchange-rate movements, Standard Chartered Bank Plc's senior economist Stephen Green estimates."
So they have found a "safe" way to manage their reserves?
According to CHINA.ORG.CN:
"The state Council had decided to divide the country's foreign exchange reserves into two parts: "normal" reserves and money to be used for investment seeking "more profits." The first part will be managed by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)."
Will they invest part of 1 trillion foreign reserves in Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or other "high growth expectation dreams"? I doubt it. This money is not going to save the American Bull. They will continue doing what they are already doing: securing assets which will allow them feed the Dragon and grow the Chinese economy - Canadian oil sands, African mineral assets with Copper and other metals, Australian Uranium and Russian gas.
The International Herald Tribune reports:
"They're not going to be looking for financial assets, but energy assets and natural resources, minerals — things China desperately needs," said Jing Ulrich of J.P. Morgan.
The commodities bull market will receive a new healthy dose of adrenalin from this strategic investor, who will not get busted in leverage plays or sell with every rumor in the market, but will hold these assets for their real value - a base for manufacturing production and infrastructure development in Asia.
Who will benefit? Companies with great management and developing asset bases: Canadian oil sands play like Habanero resources; copper in Congo like Tenke mining; copper, zinc, gold and silver in Canada like Copper Fox Metals;copper and silver in Mexico like Capstone mining; quality gold and silver juniors like Avino Gold (ASGMF.OB) and silver mines, Sterling Mining and Mines Management (NYSEMKT:MGN).
This recent development means that the US dollar will be under pressure once China reduces holding of their Treasury bills and trade them for real assets. Real rates will go up, because in order to sell new IOU Treasury they will need to give more discount on its unsafe (according to Chinese Central Bank) goods - treasury bills. With falling nominal rates in order to reinflate the economy from recession after the housing bubble has busted, we will be in the negative rates territory, as in the recession of 2002, and gold and silver will blossom again. Will this development be the catalyst for igniting a new Bull leg in commodities, gold and silver mining companies shares after the recent consolidation? We will see it in nearest future, but it is definitely a very important positive development in these markets.