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(来源:英语论坛 http://bbs.englishcn.com)

Share prices in China are once again unhinged 中国市场的股票价格再度脱缰

EVEN critics of China’s stockmarket would be hard-pressed to call it dull. After losing almost three-quarters of their value between late 2007 and the end of 2008, shares have gone back on the rampage. They are up by more than 70% this year, and that encompasses a wrenching 15% decline since late July (see chart). Combined, China’s two mainland bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen are second only to America’s, measured by the value of domestic listings. Activity is frenetic: the average share in China has changed hands three times so far this year. 即使是中国股市的批评家们也不得不承受着重重压力才能称目前的股市萧条。从2007年下半年到2008年末,中国股市几乎蒸发了四分之三的市值,如今已经狂冲乱跳着涨回来了。今年以来,股市上涨幅度超过70%,包括7月下旬开始的猛然震荡下跌,幅度达15%。以本国内上市公司的市值计算,中国大陆两个交易所——上海证券交易所和深圳证券交易所——的总规模已经仅次于美国股市。中国股市狂热而活跃,年初至今,平均每只股票的换手率都有三次之多。 

Since foreigners are largely barred from investing in the mainland Chinese market, what goes on in Shanghai and Shenzhen used to be largely of interest only to local punters. But now China’s position as the only big economy reporting strong growth, and the general scepticism surrounding the accuracy of the government statistics underlying these reports, has transformed the role of its equity market into a potentially unique source of information. Jing Ulrich, a regional strategist for JPMorgan, was bombarded with questions about China’s market on recent overseas travels in the hope they could elicit clues about the future course of the economy. Anecdotally at least, global stockmarkets have become more sensitive to Chinese gyrations, on the premise that they reflect real shifts in the country’s prosperity which have repercussions everywhere. 由于中国大陆市场对境外投资者有很大程度的限制,过去一直只有本土的投机客们对沪深两市有兴趣。不过,鉴于中国如今的地位是全球唯一一个增长强劲的经济体,而政府公布的官方统计数据又被普遍怀疑,中国股市的角色发生了转变——成为潜在的独一无二的信息源。摩根大通(JPMorgan)地区策略师李晶(Jing Ulrich)在近期的海外之旅中遭到了各种问题的连番轰炸,人们希望以此探出经济未来走向的线索。不管这些轶闻如何,全球股市已经对中国的波动变得更敏感,前提是这些波动反映了这个国家整体繁荣情况的真实转变。

Whether this reputation is deserved is an open question. The market’s remarkable rise comes with enough caveats to suggest it is priced as much by madness as by reason. On average, shares in China trade at 31 times trailing earnings, double the global average. Although this is less than half the stratospheric valuation that existed prior to the market’s crash last year, it can only be justified by remarkably strong and sustained earnings growth. 这些声誉是否名副其实有待验证。伴随着中国股市非凡的上涨,也冒出了足够多的警告,认为股票的定价一半由理性决定,一半则是由疯狂决定的。平均起来,中国股市上交易的股价超过其收益31倍,是全球平均水平的两倍。尽管与去年股市崩溃之前的最高估值水平比较,现在的估值不足其一半,但只有异常强劲和持续的利润增长才能证明这一水平合理。

There is evidence that business conditions are improving in China, but only by going from abysmal to merely bad. According to JPMorgan’s calculations, the year-on-year decline in industrial profits has ebbed from a dreadful 37% in February to a still awful 21% in June. The same story holds for the profits of companies listed on China’s exchanges. Profits were down by 26% in the first quarter. About half of all companies have reported their figures for the second quarter; earnings declined, on average, by 18% year-on-year. 有迹象显示中国的商业情况正在改善,但不过是从万丈深渊转变成只是糟糕而已。根据摩根大通的估算,2月份工业利润额同比下降幅度糟糕透顶,为37%,6月份收窄到21%,但仍然糟糕。中国证券交易所里那些上市公司的利润情况也是同样的故事。一季度的利润下滑了26%,目前有一半的上市公司公布了第二季度的数据,利润比去年同期平均下滑了18%。

Share prices should reflect future, not past profits, hence the hope that the rally in China cleverly looks beyond today’s problems to better times. In support of this, the consensus estimates of Chinese security analysts are that earnings will rise by 9% this year and 22% in 2010. A big bounce is not unprecedented. Demand for housing, which uncharacteristically (for China) dried up earlier in the year, has rebounded sharply. Only in southern China, hit particularly hard by the collapse in exports, do prices remain below their prior peaks. Retail sales continue to be strong. 股价应该反映未来,而不是过去的利润。因此,对中国股市重振旗鼓的希望实则是聪明地看到了未来更好的时光,而不是眼下的问题。支持这一观点正确的是,中国的证券分析师一致预期今年上市公司的利润会上升9%,到2010年上升22%。出现一次巨大的反弹并不是前所未有的。今年年初,房地产市场的需求出现了非典型的(对中国而言)消失,而后急剧反弹。由于出口萎缩对中国南方的打击尤其严重,目前只有这一个地区的房价仍然没有回到其历史高点。另外,零售市场始终保持强劲。

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