A Bubbly China - Barron's

Includes: CHL, HNP, SHI
by: Susan Lerner

Suggestions of a market bubble inevitably lead to speculation over when it may pop. How bubbly is China? Barron's asks. With markets up 400% over the past two years and valuations some of the most expensive in the world, some money managers say they're getting "very cautious" and worry that "bullish expectations may not be met." This would jive with the actions of Warren Buffett, who has been selling off holdings in PetroChina (full story). But others say the bubble may not burst as soon as many think, and that there's still time to make some money. "A" shares, the class of stock available to Chinese investors, are up some 120% this year, but managers are still buying the likes of China Mobile, Huaneng Power, and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical. One manager tells Barron's the Mainland market "could theoretically double from these levels." Yet another says, "We're quite late in the day in the rally, but quite early in the bubble. Valuations aren't ludicrous, just expensive. They will get ludicrous before the correction."

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