Don’t Invest in China, Goldman Sachs Wealth Management CIO Warns

Don’t Invest in China, Goldman Sachs Wealth Management CIO Warns

China’s big stock-market declines aren’t enough to warrant putting money in the country, according to the chief investment officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s wealth-management business.

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“All our clients are asking us that question — given how cheap China appears, people inevitably say, well, has it discounted the worst news?” Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “Our view is that one should not invest in China.”

She cited a host of reasons for her take, including expectations for a steady slowdown in the economy over the next decade. China will struggle with a weakening in the three pillars of growth up to now — the property market, infrastructure and exports, she said. A lack of clarity on China’s policymaking, along with patchy economic data, add to concerns about investing there, Mossavar-Rahmani said.

China’s Communist leadership has over the past year emphasized the importance of information security and put curbs on what data can be removed from the nation. The statistics bureau also suspended for a time some unemployment figures. On Monday, Beijing announced that the country’s premier — second only to President Xi Jinping — will discontinue a decades-long tradition of annual press briefings at a key gathering.

Read more: China Scraps Premier Li’s Briefing, Breaking 30-Year Norm

“It is not clear what the overall general direction of policy will be long term,” Mossavar-Rahmani said. “Policy uncertainties generally put a little bit of a cap on the equity market.”

The benchmark CSI 300 Index last month sank to a five-year low amid worries over the state of domestic demand at a time of escalating geopolitical tensions. It has since rebounded after regulators took steps to curb selling and boost institutional purchases.

Read More: China Tells Quants to Phase Out Strategy Blamed for Turmoil

There may be some short-term stimulus measures coming, but China’s real estate sector hasn’t found the bottom yet, according to Mossavar-Rahmani. “Data is unclear — we really don’t have a good grasp of what growth was last year or what growth will be this year,” she also said, echoing concerns among a number of economists who doubt China’s official economic expansion figures.

While China formally published a growth rate above 5% for 2023, “most people think that is not the real growth number — it was actually a lot weaker,” she said.

Read More: Did China’s Economy Really Grow 5.2% in 2023? Not All Agree

“We don’t recommend clients move into China at this point,” she concluded.

–With assistance from Tom Mackenzie.

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(Bloomberg L.P.)

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