Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, compared China’s new housing strategy to the way Beijing uses its so-called “national team” of state funds to buy equities to try to prop up the depressed stock market. Such efforts have often failed to sustainably bolster the market. Using government money to buy up distressed real estate would be no different, he said, given the country’s demographic challenges and supply glut. Government interventions could also raise uncomfortable questions about social fairness, he said. Buying properties from existing homeowners or developers when the market is weak would amount to using national resources to subsidize owners who have the flexibility to sell, when others don’t, he said. “It turns into an issue of wealth distribution,” he said. “Not everyone in China owns multiple apartments, nor are they ready to sell.”
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Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said “The biggest deflation factor is the high sense of insecurity among businesspeople, private firms and officials”. He said “No one feels really secure about tomorrow.”
Chen Zhiwu, a chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said headwinds such as risks of a global recession and US-China tensions would continue to exert “extraordinary pressures” on China’s hi-tech push. “The US tech war has largely thwarted Chinese tech companies’ [initial public offering] opportunities. Even if these tech manufacturers succeed in going public, the potential sanctions would affect their market valuations,” said Chen. He added China’s weak economic momentum is also weighing on the market’s overall willingness to invest, with hi-tech manufacturing just one element. “The rapid development of hi-tech industries over the past 20 years has provided China with a massive boost to its economic boom, this was partly due to the impact of a stable external environment on investor confidence,” Chen said.
Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said restoring confidence would be key, but that it would take much more than just talk. “The really useful and meaningful way to boost household and private business confidence is to depoliticise both economic policymaking and the business sector,” he said. “Otherwise, the ‘3D’ challenges – deflation, debt and deleveraging – will continue.”
China only entered the investment banking and fund management game in the 1990s, more than two centuries after Wall Street, said Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong.
Chen Zhiwu, chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, said the pause by the US Federal Reserve, and possible cuts, could be positive for China’s exports but not its financial markets. “The news means more US stock market and bond market upsides in the coming years, possibly luring more capital out from China,” said Chen, adding the US economy could continue to cool further but is unlikely to slip into a serious recession.
"It's definitely in the government's interest to ensure maximum data reliability" said Chen Zhiwu, a finance professor at the University of Hong Kong.
“Politics will for sure further dictate China’s finance, effectively moving China even closer to how it was before the reforms started in 1978,” said Chen Zhiwu, a finance professor at the University of Hong Kong.