Monday, October 22, 2007

China seeps through

If you've read my previous blog with regards to Luxury, TIME Magazine released the most recent issue of their STYLE magazine and notes China as one of the rising luxury good markets, followed by India and Russia. TIME in fact had an article once about the Chinese wave of 'yuppies' (young professionals) having the time of their lives, in terms of career and financial growth. Hence, it's really not a surprise that luxury good companies choose to ride the China-Economic Boom.

But yes, we all know China's power in terms of number of population, exports and skilled people. They would only have to work on their English, which they are doing right now, and they're all set to take off. Somehow these are indications that signal them to take the reign in a global perspective. They've got the necessary ingredients to make it all happen; and the once 'powerful' countries in the West have started to shift their attention and friendliness to their Eastern links.

But China's power is slowly being felt, if before it was a mere wait-and-see thing, now every effect of this giant whether good or bad is globally felt. The power of this country is so great that everyone's watching, advising and praying we might not fall down on our knees.

Here is one of the articles I've managed to come across. And no, it's not about the bad TOY manufacturing news and recalls. (I tend to keep it happy or neutral in the mornings :D)

China takes over world's most valuable company list

China is now the home of eight of the world's 20 most valuable companies based on market cap. The U.S. is down to seven. The list is made up of all companies with market values in excess of $200 billion.

As The New York Times points out, "The list of the world's most valuable companies in 1989 was dominated by the Japanese banks, whose profits were enhanced by their stakes in many other Japanese companies whose shares were also soaring. After Japan's bubble burst, those banks were brought down by bad loans, leading to mergers and bailouts."

Is the Chinese market going to go the way of Japan's? The answer is probably yes.

The value of some of the current Chinese companies is simply too rich, even if the country's economy is growing at 10% a year. If there is a global recession, the demand for Chinese exports is likely to move down, which could throw the country's entire economy into chaos.

PetroChina Co. (NYSE: PTR), now has a market cap of $429 billion to Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (NYSE: XOM) of $525 billion. Last year, Exxon's revenue was $377 billion. PTR's was $88 billion. Insane? Yes.

Is China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) worth 40% more than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)? Its $370 billion market cap says so. China Mobile does have more wireless subscribers than AT&T, but it does not have the huge landline and broadband franchises that the U.S. company does.

Japan dominated the list of market cap companies in 1989. Tech dominated the list in 1999. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL), and Lucent were high on the list. The 2000 collapse of the Nasdaq took care of that.

China is next. The valuations are too out of whack.


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