Monday morning links

  • Chinese “reforms” continue: Xi Jinping using Mao’s old slogan “common prosperity” led to weakness in luxury goods stocks. The antigraft watchdog is now probing Communist Party leaders in Hangzhou, the hometown of Alibaba. The Party is also targeting celebrity culture and is accusing actresses of tax fraud. E-commerce company Pinduoduo’s committed US$1.5 billion to support farmers and rural communities. We seem to be witnessing the state reasserting control.

  • Southeast Asia COVID-19 infection rates: Cases are surging in the Philippines, and 25% of all tests come back positive. Meanwhile, there is evidence that new cases have peaked in Indonesia and Malaysia. But eventually, these outbreaks will all pass, and now is the time to invest.

  • Korean monetary policy: Korean banks tightened lending rules, and the Bank of Korea hiked interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75%. Positive for bank net interest margins, but potentially also weighing on the demand for loans.

  • The container shipping boom: Container shipping stocks have gone parabolic and there are signs that we’re getting closer to bubble territory.

  • Singaporean e-wallets: Singaporean tech company Razer announced it would shut down its e-wallet amid a sector-wide cash burn to attract users. These wallets lack a proper use case, in my opinion, and are simply used to collect points.

Asian stock ideas

  • Unexpected Value Substack on Chinese restaurant chain Haidilao (SEHK: 6862 — US$20 billion)

  • Superfluous Value Blog mentioning three Hong Kong-listed stocks: Macau casino operator Melco International Development (SEHK: 200 — US$2.1 billion), CNOOC (SEHK: 883 — US$44 billion) and Greatview Aseptic (SEHK: 468 — US$556 million)

Long-form writing

(estimated reading time) ($ = behind a paywall)

Podcasts and videos

  • Aswath Damodaran on how to value companies in emerging markets (2 mins)

  • Marc Faber predicting “very hard times ahead”: Part 1, Part 2 (1:09 hours)

  • Jeff Towson on Chinese speciality e-commerce companies (53 mins)

  • The Economist interviews Chinese tech expert Kai-Fu Lee (31 mins)

  • Odd Lots with Ajmal Ahmady, Afghanistan’s former central bank chief (49 mins)

  • Strategist James Aitken discussing China’s digital currency etc. (54 mins+)

  • Shiv Sharma of Stocktwits discussing Indian retail investors etc. (52 mins)

Chart of the week – Chinese housing prices as a multiple of incomes

Thanks for reading, and I wish you a great week ahead!

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