Rout in China Tech Shares Is a Buying Opportunity for Some
(Bloomberg) -- The massive selloff in U.S.-listed shares of Chinese technology companies isn’t linked to their fundamentals and makes for a bigger buying opportunity, according to Citigroup Inc.
The brokerage reiterated buy ratings on Baidu Inc., Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Vipshop Holdings Ltd. following what it called an “unfortunate dislocation” of their share prices. Gary Dugan, chief executive officer at the Global CIO Office in Singapore, along with a few other fund managers echoed Citi’s views.
“While we are not sure whether the huge volatility of share price movement of many technology stocks during the last few days could trigger more forced selling pressure or de-risk selling sentiment from other funds in the next few days, we do believe and are reassured that none of the sell-down is fundamental related,” Citi analysts including Alicia Yap wrote in a note.
The comments come after Friday’s unprecedented selling in some U.S. stocks ranging from Chinese technology giants to American media conglomerates by the family office of former Tiger Management trader Bill Hwang. The firm, Archegos Capital Management, was forced by its banks to sell more than $20 billion worth of shares after some positions moved against Hwang, according to two people directly familiar with the transactions. The block trades come as Chinese tech shares were already reeling from higher U.S. Treasury yields and mounting regulatory pressure.
“We would look at the selloff as technical and exaggerated and hence a long-term buying opportunity,” said Dugan of Global CIO Office.
Tencent Music, whose ADRs slumped 37% in the last three sessions, announced a $1 billion share buyback on Monday. Baidu has approximately $2.78 billion outstanding share repurchase programs that it could use for buying back the shares, Citi analysts wrote in a note.
“Baidu’s growth outlook remains promising,” they wrote. Citi’s price target of $364 on Baidu’s ADRs implies a potential upside of about 75% from Friday’s close.
Baidu’s stock, which made its debut in Hong Kong last week, slid 5% on Monday, adding to its 5.6% loss from Friday. A measure of tech shares, which includes many Chinese giants, dropped 1.8% even as the benchmark Hang Seng Index ended little changed.
“We bought some Baidu shares in Hong Kong last Friday,” said Paul Pong, managing director at Pegasus Fund Managers Ltd. “The valuation has turned very attractive. Shares have hit a near-term bottom since the drop has nothing to do with fundamentals. It has earnings growth and the momentum is not bad. It’s the best tech stock to hold if you want to get exposure to the concept of auto-driving.”
Michael Foo, chief investment officer at HP Wealth Management, also sees a good buying opportunity in Chinese tech shares.
“While there is still room for more downside as valuations contract, we are seeing good value in some of the higher quality blue chip tech stocks with strong free cash flows such as Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba and JD.com,” he said.
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