Poll: China fund managers trim suggested equity exposure on weak outlook

A Chinese investor monitors share prices at a securities company in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China fund managers trimmed their suggested equity exposure for the next three months from a one-year high in the face of continued downward pressure on the domestic economy and stepped-up regulation, according to Reuters’ latest monthly poll.

Eight fund managers polled by Reuters cut their recommended equity allocations for the next three months to 76.3 percent from 76.9 percent a month ago, which had been the highest suggested weighting since last June, the start of last summer’s stock market crash.

The fund managers cut their recommended bond allocations to 5.6 percent from 6.3 percent last month, and also suggested increasing cash holdings to 18.1 percent from 16.9 percent a month ago.

“It’s hard to be optimistic about accelerating economic growth in the second half,” a Shanghai-based fund manager said.

“Meanwhile, the sensitive issue of weak growth in private investment indicates market players remain pessimistic about the economic outlook.”

In a recent meeting, China’s policy-making Politburo said the domestic economy still faced downward pressure with hidden risks requiring attention.

Seven fund managers forecast on average that the Shanghai Composite Index would be around 2,992.86 points three months from now, higher than the forecast made last month of 2,928.6 points, and relatively close to current index level. Most fund managers expected the index would rise to 3,000 while one fund manager said it would fall to 2,600.

Suggested exposure to electronic and tech stocks was cut to 16.3 percent on average from 18.8 percent last month, according to the poll. Tech stocks with higher valuations and obvious signs of speculative activities have suffered downside pressure at a time when regulators tightened regulation to crack down on speculation.

“I feel sectors with lower valuations might see a chance for upside, such as wine and auto stocks. While ‘concept’ stories are not attractive any more, market players will pay attention to performance,” said a fund manager based in southern China.

(Reporting by David Lin, Liu Luoyan and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)