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Mobius: China Market Could Surpass United States

By Julie Crawshaw   |   Monday, 20 Jul 2009 09:54 AM

Templeton Asset Management emerging markets head Mark Mobius said China’s stock market might surpass the United States as the world’s largest by value in as little as three years.

The reasons are China’s state-owned companies will sell new shares and the nation’s 1.4 billion people will put more of their money into the market.

“The Chinese population is just dipping its toe into equities and they’ve got a long way to go,” Mobius told Bloomberg, adding that state-owned companies are “coming up with more huge” initial public offerings.

Currently, China’s market is valued at $3.2 trillion, compared with $11.2 trillion for the U.S. market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Though Mobius considers China’s mainland-traded stocks, known as ‘A’ shares, to be “somewhat overvalued,” he thinks the market will move higher as earnings climb.

“We can expect corrections along the way” for emerging markets, Mobius said. “I would expect a more steady, jagged movement upwards.”

China’s stocks are up sharply this year, and valuations are already high, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ten of 13 sectors in the MSCI China Index now are above their long-term price-to-earnings averages, according to figures from Morgan Stanley.

Individual investors are piling into China’s stock market. In the mainland, more than 1.6 million stock trading accounts were opened in June – 68 percent more than the year before.

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Templeton Asset Management emerging markets head Mark Mobius said China’s stock market might surpass the United States as the world’s largest by value in as little as three years.The reasons are China’s state-owned companies will sell new shares and the nation’s 1.4 billion...
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