The Resurgence of China

While the U.S. market is retesting its November low, some world markets are doing well. One example is China. After a rough patch, Shanghai has resumed its leadership as the world’s best-performing stock market this year, hitting a new 5½-month high last week.

The catalyst behind Shanghai’s surge is that the government’s stimulus program appears to be working. I hope our stimulus plan is as successful. The People’s Bank of China announced that new bank loans in January surged 110% to a record $237 billion. Money supply growth in China, as measured by M2, rose 18.8% and 17.8% in January and December, respectively.

In my Global Growth service, our China-based stocks have been perking up. Two good examples are AsiaInfo Holdings (ASIA) and China Sky One Medical (CSKI).

AsiaInfo Holdings was our big winner last week, up more than 30% after the company announced that its fourth-quarter 2008 total revenue grew 31.7% year over year and full-year revenue growth of 32.2%. Full-year operating profit grew by 50.6%. At year’s end, AsiaInfo had cash and cash equivalents of $184.6 million, plus short-term investments of $28.6 million. The company also repurchased 2.5 million shares last quarter, and 2.8 million shares on the year.

China Sky One Medical reaffirmed its guidance for the quarter and all of 2008. The full-year 2008 revenue estimate stands at $88 million to $90 million, with net income of $27 million to $28 million. The company also reaffirmed its 2008 gross margin estimate of 77%.

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