For a banker, no panic in China
“Well insulated” China, though suffering from sharp drops in its own equities markets, doesn’t have the sense of crisis that exists in the U.S., says Philip Partnow, managing director of UBS Securities Ltd in Beijing. UBS, the first Western bank to assume management control of a domestic mainland brokerage, points out the fact that what’s hitting companies is not subprime-related securities gone bad.
“I think there’s nothing here we feel is toxid,” he told Reuters on Wednesday at the Reuters China Summit in Beijing. He goes on:
“The Chinese capital market has responded quite differently than global capital markets and that is because the Chinese capital markets are still pretty well insulated by the way China controls the RMB and by the other financial controls that China has.
“It is true that both the Shanghai A-share market and the Heng Seng market have fallen quite steeply, but that is more in response to a correction from what many people believe was an over-inflated stock bubble, rather than a direct response from some financial crisis or concern. That’s been then followed on by some concerns that people have about a weakening economic sentiment in the U.S. and Europe and Japan, which are China’s key export markets, and what the knock-in impact will be in China. So there is also a fundamental concern.”
“But there is not a sense of distress or of crisis, or that things that people thought were valuable suddenly vanishing into thin air, along the same lines of what we’ve seen with some of the things that were happening with Subprime and the complex structures that were set up around the subprime, back in the United States. So I think there’s nothing really that we feel that is toxic, out here in China, so we are broadly comfortable with the businesses that we’re in. “
By Lucy Hornby