×

Deutche Asset CIO Sean Taylor says to get overweight on China shares for now

It's time to take a fair weather overweight on China's shares after the selloff earlier this year, said Deutsche Asset Management's Chief Investment Officer Sean Taylor.

That's because China shares have underperformed since the start of the year, he said, noting bearish sentiment on concerns over China's currency, the renminbi, and the mainland's property market.

But after the government provided fiscal support in the middle of the first quarter, "the data's been a lot better. A lot of people have expected China to implode this year and it hasn't. That leaves it in a better situation," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"The data is quite stable and for once the global markets are quite sanguine about China. The risk factors are in other parts of the world. That leaves China to outperform," he said.

Deutsche Asset didn't appear to have much company on its China call.

Goldman Sachs noted that funds had become even more underweight on China recently.

"Despite strong inflows in emerging market exchange-traded funds (ETFs), China-focused mutual funds and ETFs continue to see outflows," it said in a note Monday. "Funds across mandates have become more underweight China as allocations failed to 'catch up' with an increase in benchmark weights."

In June, MSCI included more Chinese companies' American Depositary Receipts (ADR) in their indexes, increasing the mainland's weighting.

Goldman said funds are now more underweight on China than they have been in a decade, making it the Asian market with the largest underweight.

'Look to beaten-up cyclicals'

Deutsche Asset's Taylor expected it would take a change on the earnings front for other funds to follow its drumbeat into China.

"We have to see earnings growth pick up. We haven't seen that. What we've seen over the past six months is the relative declines in earnings relative to Europe and Japan have improved dramatically," he said. "We need to see a better set of earnings over the next couple of quarters."

He was looking to beaten-up cyclical stocks as they are likely to show an early earnings recovery, with cement and steel prices showing a pick up.

Taylor also expected that after sharp property price rises in Shanghai, funds may flow out of real estate and into the stock market.

But the Deutsche Asset overweight call on China's shares appeared to be a fair weather one.

"In the medium term, for the rest of the year, Chinese data should be good because of the stimulus, but going forward, they're building up problems, particularly on the debt side," he said.

Lars Baron | Getty Images

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1