【英语财经】Lex专栏:中国银行股值得关注 Lex_Chinese banks

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2014-5-26 06:41

小艾摘要: Chinese banks are cheap. This is a truth universally acknowledged. But it is also well known that there are good reasons for them to command a low multiple. China’s economy is slowing down; the prope ...
Lex_Chinese banks
Chinese banks are cheap. This is a truth universally acknowledged. But it is also well known that there are good reasons for them to command a low multiple. China’s economy is slowing down; the property and credit cycles are both reaching the point where a true bust looks possible; corporate governance is horrible and involves placing blind faith in China’s Communist party.

But there is a case that Chinese financials offer the margin of safety required by value investors. Take Bank of China. It has kept churning out a return on equity of 18 per cent through the economic slowdown of the last three years, is adequately capitalised and trades at 0.87 times book value (and 5.2 times trailing earnings). It is manifestly too big to fail, so some government aid would arrive if worst comes to worst.

Does this add up to the necessary margin of safety? Possibly not. The realistic worst-case scenario is highly plausible, and seriously damaging. But it is possible to create a margin of safety by hedging. And China’s importance in the world economy means that the worst-case scenario for Bank of China is easy to hedge.

Take Australia. It is painfully exposed to any Chinese credit bust. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has the same $120bn market cap as Bank of China, and also makes an 18 per cent RoE. The difference: it trades at 2.8 times book, and 15.8 times earnings. If the worst happens in China, Bank of China’s low multiple, and likely government support, provide a cushion. CBA’s multiple suggests a larger fall. So coupling a position in Bank of China with a short on CBA, as proposed by Prudential’s Eastspring Investments subsidiary, should allow the chance of a gain, even if nightmare scenarios come to fruition. For those who prefer not to pick on CBA, there are many other ways to hedge a Chinese implosion. Investors should look more closely at Chinese banks.

中国银行股很便宜,这是一个举世公认的事实。但同样众所周知的是,这些股票的估值倍数低是有充足理由的。中国经济增长正在放缓;房地产周期和信贷周期都在接近一个临界点,届时可能发生真正意义上的崩盘;公司治理一塌糊涂,并且涉及要对中共抱以盲信。

但要说中国金融股提供了价值投资者要求的安全边际(margin of safety),也是有一定道理的。就拿中国银行(BoC)来说,这只股票在过去3年经济放缓的形势下保持了18%的股本回报率(RoE),资本金充足,市净率为0.87倍(往绩市盈率为5.2倍)。中国银行显然属于“大到不能倒”的那类金融机构,因此如果最糟糕的情形发生,政府肯定会提供某种援助。

这些加在一起,是否意味着中国银行提供了必要的安全边际?或许并非如此。具有现实性的最糟糕情形是很有可能发生的,并且杀伤力会很大。但投资者可通过对冲创造出安全边际。而中国在世界经济中的重要地位意味着,投资者不难对中国银行可能出现的最糟糕情形进行对冲。

就拿澳大利亚来说。中国若发生信贷危机,澳大利亚将受到严重影响。澳大利亚联邦银行(CBA)与中国银行一样拥有1200亿美元的市值,股本回报率也为18%。两者的区别在于:前者的市净率为2.8倍,市盈率为15.8倍。如果中国出现最糟糕的情形,中国银行较低的估值倍数以及很可能得到的政府援助,会为其提供缓冲。澳大利亚联邦银行的估值倍数意味着,它会比中国银行跌得更惨。因此,正如英国保诚集团(Prudential)旗下的瀚亚投资(Eastspring)建议的那样,持有中国银行多头头寸以及澳大利亚联邦银行空头头寸,而后,哪怕发生最糟糕的情形,你也应该有望实现正收益。对那些不愿选择澳大利亚联邦银行的投资者而言,还有许多方式可用来对冲中国市场发生崩盘的情况。投资者应更加密切地关注中国的银行股。

Lex专栏是由FT评论家联合撰写的短评,对全球经济与商业进行精辟分析

译者/阑天

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