Top China Hedge Fund Blames Foreign Investors for Stock Rout

A top-performing Chinese macro hedge fund blamed global capital for sinking the country’s stocks to the lowest levels since November.

(Bloomberg) — A top-performing Chinese macro hedge fund blamed global capital for sinking the country’s stocks to the lowest levels since November.

Foreign funds are primary drivers of Chinese stocks’ recent selloff, said Li Bei, founder of Shanghai Banxia Investment Management Center. Overseas investors stirred up market volatility and, “taken together, they are a bunch of aimless flies,” she said in an article posted on social media platform WeChat.

Li’s comments came right after Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index and the onshore CSI 300 both set fresh 2023 lows. Doubts over China’s commitment to support its ailing housing market have been on the rise as the government refrained from pouring on mass stimulus. On Monday, mainland banks surprisingly kept a key interest rate tied to mortgages on hold.

Foreign investors had loaded up on mainland Chinese stocks following the Politburo’s pro-growth policy statement last month, but that buying spree proved fleeting. As of Monday, overseas funds had sold A-shares on a net basis via trading links for 11 straight sessions, a record selling streak since Bloomberg began tracking the data in December 2016.

That said, foreign funds have accounted for just around 6% of the total onshore turnover this year. Overall, they own less than 4% of total A-shares outstanding, according to a report this month from China International Capital Corp.

This isn’t the first time Shanghai Banxia Investment has pushed back against negative market sentiment. Last month, the firm joined a major lender and the state media in dismissing a bearish research report on Chinese banks by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

READ: China’s ‘Fake’ Foreigner Ban Seen Having Little Impact on Stocks

Buying Opportunity

Li’s flagship Banxia Macro Fund ranks the best performer among multi-asset funds running at least 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) for the past five years, and is second for all hedge fund strategies as of May, according to Shenzhen PaiPaiWang Investment & Management Co., which compiles results of Chinese hedge funds.

Initiatives to recharge shantytown redevelopment and address risks from local government financing vehicles are more effective in stimulating the economy than rate cuts, Li said. Based on the central bank’s recent policy moves and foreign funds’ retreat, it’s likely “another good buying point,” she said in the article.

Bloomberg News was unable to reach Banxia via phone outside of office hours.

Heeding calls from authorities to bolster the market, China’s largest mutual fund houses promised to buy their own equity-focused products. Meanwhile, state television CCTV said investors should be vigilant against commentary that dents confidence and disrupts market order.

–With assistance from April Ma.

(Adds more details, including on foreign participation, in the fifth and sixth paragraphs.)

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