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China will ultimately be successful: TIAA-CREF CEO

Concerns over global growth have contributed to the recent market turbulence, but TIAA-CREF President and CEO Roger Ferguson believes China will ultimately stabilize its economy.

"My impression of the Chinese is that they are very good at working through and managing their economies. So I would expect them to continue to focus in on these elements of stimulus," said Ferguson, who was vice chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1999 to 2006.

He also thinks the country will need to reach its long-term goal of moving towards a more consumer-oriented society.

"Though it will be tricky from day to day, I think they will be ultimately successful."

In the meantime, Ferguson told CNBC's "Closing Bell" he doesn't get overly excited about the ups and downs in the market.

That's because while the downturn may present a good time for portfolio managers to buy equities they've had their eyes on, "we are very much interested in fundamental points of view," he said. "We also clearly encourage and take a long-term perspective."

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both closed lower Tuesday after rallying about 3 percent earlier in the day. It was their biggest reversal to the downside since October 2008.

On Monday, stocks plunged more than 3.5 percent.

Ferguson said part of building long-term sustainable benefits for investors is being broadly diversified in stocks, fixed income and alternative investments.

One area he sees growth is commercial real estate. The market has been strong for four or five years, but Ferguson expects continued strength thanks to an improving labor market, vacancy rates that are coming down and rents that are increasing.

"We still think for the right properties in the right locations there's some upside potential," he said.

As for whether recent conditions would affect the timing of a rate hike by the Fed, Ferguson said he wouldn't try to make a call on what's happening now. Instead, he'd see how the economic data comes in.

The central bank will take into consideration the strengthening labor market, inflation and market volatility, he noted.

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