Thu, Jan 01, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Jim Rogers still buying up Chinese stocks amid crisis

BLOOMBERG

Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, said he has been buying shares of Chinese companies even as growth in the world’s fourth-largest economy slows.

Rogers, 66, started buying Chinese shares in 1988 and is now favoring equities traded in Hong Kong and Singapore that are cheaper than yuan-denominated stocks in Shanghai. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks the city’s so-called H shares, climbed 1.4 percent today. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen, lost 0.9 percent.

China is slowing but “some parts of the Chinese economy will be totally unaffected by what happens in the West,” Rogers said in Hong Kong yesterday. “I started buying in October again. I never sold any Chinese shares.”

The global credit crisis has dragged the world’s largest economies into recession this year, hurting demand for Chinese products. China’s exports fell for the first time in seven years in November, imports plunged and output contracted by a record.

The People’s Bank of China has cut interest rates five times in three months to support a 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion) spending package for reviving an economy that grew in the third quarter at the slowest pace in five years.

Hong Kong’s H-share Index plunged 51 percent this year, the biggest annual decline since at least 1994. The CSI 300 fell 66 percent last year, the second-worst performance in Asia this year after Vietnam’s benchmark index.

Rogers said he has been buying Chinese agricultural stocks amid government measures to bolster growth. Other industries he favors are infrastructure in China, water and tourism in Asia.

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