Asia-Pacific News

Don't touch China, go here instead: Marc Faber

Further A-share declines coming: Marc Faber
Further A-share declines coming: Marc Faber

Famously bearish investor Marc Faber says he wouldn't touch Chinese stocks even after their precipitous decline, instead pushing the investment case for Vietnam equities, Hong Kong-listed Macau gaming stocks and gold mining shares.

"I am a buyer when markets are undervalued and attractive and then I get out relatively early. So we were buyers a year ago in June/July of 2014," Faber, the author of the "Gloom, Boom and Doom Report", said, referring to Chinese equities. "Now, I don't think that Chinese stocks are attractive and I would just stand aside."

Chinese equities have taken a severe beating in the recent weeks as panic selling gripped the market, but stability appears to have returned after a series of series of government measures to shore up investor confidence. The benchmark Shanghai Composite is down 24 percent from its June 12 peak, but up 21 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Faber contends that growth in world's second largest economy has "slowed down to trickle", adding that 6-7 percent growth is a "pipe dream."

Marc Faber
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

China, which has set its own growth target at about 7 percent for 2015, is due to publish its latest gross domestic product (GDP) report on Wednesday . The release is expected to show growth dipped below 7 percent in the second quarter, following 7 percent expansion in the first quarter of 2015 - the weakest showing since the global financial crisis.

"We just heard from the Australian treasurer that growth this year in China will be 6.75 percent. It's a pipe dream that will never materialize. Maybe that will be published by the government but the reality is that Chinese growth has slowed down to trickle," he said.

Rather than betting on Chinese A-shares, Faber makes the case for equity investments elsewhere in the region, including Vietnam stocks, which are up 16 percent this year.

Vietnam is the one country that "stands out in Asia", with its strong economic performance and reasonably priced stocks, he said. "In Vietnam you could have a similar situation as in China a year ago, where stocks went up very substantially."

Also on his buy-list are Macau casino stocks. "After a very substantial decline, I think they have reached a buying range," Faber said, cautioning, however, that they "may still go lower somewhat" from here.

Lastly, Faber is also keen on precious metals, including platinum, silver and gold and their related shares.

"Gold shares, they may still move somewhat lower, but if you ask me what is good value, the gold mining sector is a depressed sector."