【英语财经】分析:新兴市场的消费群 Investors raise a glass to the rise of EM consumers

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2014-6-12 16:49

小艾摘要: Investors love a good story. And few are more enticing than the emergence of a large middle class in the developing world, whose spending buoys the shares of a wide array of retail groups.The thesis e ...
Investors raise a glass to the rise of EM consumers
Investors love a good story. And few are more enticing than the emergence of a large middle class in the developing world, whose spending buoys the shares of a wide array of retail groups.

The thesis enjoys both robust fundamentals and a compelling narrative. HSBC estimates that almost 3bn people – mostly from developing countries – will become “middle-class” by 2050. By then they will make up two-thirds of the world’s consumption of goods and services.

But Arjun Divecha, head of emerging market equities at investment manager GMO, points out that emerging markets already make up more than half of global car sales. “Emerging markets have benefited from a demographic dividend over the past 20 years and will continue to do so for another 20 years,” Mr Divecha predicts.

The returns have already been buoyant. The MSCI Emerging Markets index has gained 122 per cent since its post-financial crisis trough, but the consumer discretionary index has climbed 224 per cent. The consumer staples index has done even better, rallying 232 per cent since the post-crisis low.

Some asset managers say future returns will dwarf even this. Didier Rabattu, manager of a Lombard Odier fund that focuses on emerging market consumption, says many investors still fail to appreciate the extent to which developing countries are shifting away from export-led growth models of recent years and are instead nurturing consumer spending as a way to keep their economies expanding at a steady rate.

“Emerging market policy makers realise that developed markets will be in trouble for the next 20 years, so they won’t be able to grow by exporting to them any more. So they want to encourage domestic consumption,” he says.

Indeed, some investors and analysts say the implications of this “revolution” go far beyond mere stock market returns. A smattering of bulls say the rise of a middle class in the developing world can play the same role that the post-second world war birth surge did in hauling western economies out of their funk and driving robust economic growth for decades afterwards.

“Emerging market consumers are the big story,” says Jim Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management.

“They will be our new baby-boomer generation. It’s a generational thing, but we’re already starting to see signs of it.”

The enthusiasm for emerging market consumption has also offered welcome support to western stock markets, where many listed companies are geared towards retail spending in the developing world.

Luxury goods companies in Europe are particularly popular, given the predilection of wealthier Asian and Latin American for Bulgari jewellery or Burberry coats.

Asia is now the biggest source of revenue for companies such as LVMH, the French conglomerate behind brands including Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, luxury tie-maker Hermès and the UK’s Burberry.

The shares of all three have performed far better than their overall domestic exchanges, as demand in the developing world counteracts a slowdown in their traditional local markets.

“As people get richer they care more about brand and less about price,” Mr Divecha says. “The sweet spot is when savings rates start to fall and consumption is on the rise.”

Nonetheless, despite the undoubted economic potential of emerging market consumption, not everyone thinks it is an attractive investment opportunity. Their main concern is that optimism over the prospects of soaring retail spending in the developing world has already been factored fully into share prices.

“The difference between a great story and something you should be buying is the price,” says Sam Vecht, managing director at BlackRock.

“Technology and the internet did change our lives, but you wouldn’t have made very much money betting on it.”

Valuation metrics for consumer stocks are certainly richer than for the broader gauges. The MSCI EM index is trading at a trailing price-to-earnings of 11.9 times, compared with 20.3 times for consumer staples. Even after a 7 per cent drop this year, the consumer discretionary sub-index is priced at just over 13 times trailing profits.

For some favoured stocks – particularly in consumer staples such as food – the valuations look even punchier. Hindustan Unilever is trading at more than 36 times its trailing earnings, and Jollibee, a Philippines-based fast food company, is priced at 35 times. Several European luxury goods are trading at similar metrics. Hermès, for example, is priced at 37 times its trailing earnings.

Their forward-looking earning metrics, which take into account the expectation of rising profits, make these companies look somewhat cheaper.

Yet several of the European groups have had to issue profit warnings from time to time, as assumptions get too rosy.

Mr Vecht concedes that he may be “in a minority of one” in his argument that consumer stocks are too expensive – and stresses he does not doubt that the rising emerging market middle class will drive global spending for years to come.

But he says as an investment thesis the story has already run its course: “The certainty with which so many people say that EM consumption is the biggest story means that it’s likely already in the price.”

投资者喜欢好的故事。几乎没有什么故事能比发展中世界中产阶级大量涌现更吸引人。这些中产阶级的支出,支撑着许多零售集团的股价。

这一题材既包含强劲的基本面因素,又包含令人信服的故事。汇丰(HSBC)估计,到2050年时,将有近30亿人(大多来自发展中国家)跻身“中产阶级”之列。届时,他们将会贡献全球三分之二的商品与服务消费。

但投资管理公司GMO新兴市场股票部门主管阿尔琼?戴维查(Arjun Divecha)指出,目前新兴市场在全球汽车销量中所占的份额已达一半以上。他表示:“新兴市场在过去二十年受益于人口红利,未来二十年还将继续受益。”

新兴市场的回报率已然相当喜人。与金融危机后的低点相比,摩根士丹利资本国际新兴市场指数(MSCI Emerging Markets)上涨了122%,而非必需消费品指数上涨了224%。日用消费品指数表现得更为强劲,相对于危机后的低点上涨了232%。

一些资产管理公司表示,未来的回报率甚至会让上面这些涨幅相形见绌。Lombard Odier旗下一支基金的经理迪迪埃?拉巴图(Didier Rabattu)表示,许多投资者仍未能意识到,发展中国家近来已在多大程度上改变了出口带动经济增长的模式、转而培育消费支出以确保经济能以稳定的速度增长。拉巴图负责的基金主要投资于新兴市场的消费。

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拉巴图表示:“新兴市场政策制定者意识到,发达市场未来二十年将处在困境之中,他们没法再通过向发达世界出口来实现增长。因此,他们希望鼓励国内消费。”

实际上,一些投资者和分析师表示,这种“革命”的影响绝不仅仅局限在股市的回报上。一些看涨新兴市场股市的人士表示,二战后的人口生育高峰帮助西方经济体摆脱了恐慌,推动了随后几十年的强劲经济增长,如今发展中世界中产阶级的崛起可起到同样作用。

Wells Capital Management的首席策略师吉姆?保尔森(Jim Paulsen)表示:“新兴市场消费者是重大题材。

“他们将是我们的新‘婴儿潮一代’。这一题材需要一代人的时间来发展,但我们已经开始看到这方面的迹象。”

新兴市场消费受到的热捧也为西方股市提供了有利的支撑,在西方国家,许多上市公司开始把目光瞄准发展中世界的零售支出。

鉴于亚洲和拉美富人对宝格丽(Bulgari)珠宝或博柏利(Burberry)服饰的偏爱,欧洲的奢侈品公司尤其受到欢迎。

亚洲目前是路威酩轩(LVMH)、高端领带制造商爱马仕(Hermès)和英国博柏利等公司最大的收入来源。LVMH是一家法国企业集团,旗下品牌包括宝格丽和路易威登(Louis Vuitton)。

这三家公司股票的表现全都远远领先于本国股市大盘,原因是发展中世界的需求抵消了它们传统国内市场增长放缓的影响。

戴维查表示:“随着人们越来越富裕,他们会更多地关注品牌而不是价格。最佳机会出现在储蓄率开始下降而消费呈现增长的时候。”

然而,尽管新兴市场消费的经济潜力毋庸置疑,但并非所有人都认为这是一个诱人的投资机遇。一些人的主要担忧是,市场对发展中世界零售支出持续飙升前景的乐观预期已经完全反映在股价中。

贝莱德(BlackRock)董事总经理萨姆?维赫特(Sam Vecht)表示:“是否应当买入不仅取决于有没有好的题材,还取决于价格。

“科技和互联网的确改变了我们的生活,但投资者当时不应在这上面押注太多资金。”

消费股的估值指标无疑比大盘指标更亮丽。摩根士丹利全球新兴市场指数的往绩市盈率为11.9倍,而日用消费品分类指数的往绩市盈率达到20.3倍。尽管今年下跌了7%,非必需消费品分类指数的往绩市盈率仍略高于13倍。

某些受到热捧的股票(尤其是食品股等日用消费品股票),其估值看起来甚至更加令人惊叹。印度斯坦联合利华(Hindustan Unilever)的往绩市盈率超过36倍,菲律宾快餐公司快乐蜂(Jollibee)的往绩市盈率达到35倍。多家欧洲奢侈品公司也拥有类似的往绩市盈率。例如,爱马仕的往绩市盈率就达到37倍。

如果从预期市盈率(该指标利润不断增长的预期考虑在内)来看,这些公司的股票其实显得还有些便宜。

然而,由于假设过于乐观,多家欧洲集团只得不时发布盈利预警。

维赫特承认,像他这样认为消费股太贵了的人可能是“孤家寡人”。他强调称,他并不怀疑不断崛起的新兴市场中产阶级将在未来几年成为全球消费的引擎。

但他表示,作为一个投资题材,这个故事已经接近尾声:“有如此多的人确定无疑地表示新兴市场消费是最大的题材,这意味着它很可能已经反映在股价中。”

译者/邹策

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