China Hedge Funds Turn More Bullish on Stocks After Brexit Vote

  • About 76% of funds plan to add equities in July, survey shows
  • Pessimism subsides in the wake of major risks like Brexit vote

China’s hedge fund managers, including some of the best performers during last year’s rout, are turning bullish on stocks as the nation’s shares remain resilient after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.  

About 76 percent of funds planned to add stock holdings this month, a jump from 50 percent in June, according to surveys by Shenzhen Rongzhi Investment Consultant Co., which tracks Chinese hedge funds. The benchmark gauge has climbed since MSCI Inc. rejected the inclusion of China’s A shares into its indexes for a third time in mid-June, and quickly recovered from the U.K.’s shock decision to leave the EU. The managers also cited attractive valuations as the market has slumped more than 40 percent from a 2015 peak.

The chorus for a rebound is growing after Huang Weimin, the self-taught hedge fund manager who gained more than 6,200 percent by riding the boom and bust in Chinese stock-index futures last year, last month predicted the Shanghai Composite Index may rise as high as 3,430 in the third quarter, or 14 percent above current levels. Sunrise Investment, which had four funds on the top-10 list during the June-August rout last year, is calling the bottom of the market, while another top performer, Qiu Dongrong at HSBC Jintrust Fund Management Co., is piling into equities.

Market ‘Bottom’

“I believe the market is basically at its bottom and we’ll keep buying,” said Jiao Ji, who manages about 300 million yuan ($45 million) as chairman of Sunrise Investment, based in northeastern China’s Jilin province. “The systemic risks in the market have been released after all.”

Concerns about China’s growth outlook eased on Thursday as data showed an unexpected increase in the country’s foreign-exchange reserves last month. China’s benchmark stock index closed above 3,000 for the first time in more than two months amid speculation the central bank will take steps to boost the economy. The Shanghai Composite has climbed more than 4 percent since the Brexit vote, even as a gauge of global stocks has declined.

More than a quarter of the funds said they plan to increase stock exposures “significantly,” according to the survey results. While those that plan to cut positions in July increased to 8.3 percent, from 4.6 percent last month, many of them were already fully invested in June, the results showed.

“Fund managers’ confidence in the market outlook strengthened evidently, and pessimism is dispersing gradually,” Shenzhen Rongzhi said in an e-mailed report. The market, “judging from not just the depth of the correction but the length of bottom-building and external risks, has entered a period for a new wave of rally.”

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang

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