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Time to invest in Chinese companies?
With the yuan revaluation, Chinese companies listed in the U.S. could appreciate in value.
July 21, 2005: 12:18 PM EDT
By Katie Benner, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - China already has a presence on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq with plenty of investor interest. Does that mean the recent yuan revaluation will boost or bust these stocks?

Investors say the Chinese currency's peg to the U.S. dollar has attracted some speculators to U.S.-listed Chinese companies because they hope assets will rise when the peg is loosened and the yuan appreciates.

In a move that could trim the trade gap with the United States, China said Thursday morning that it will immediately value the currency at 8.11 yuan, down 2 percent from the previous 8.28 rate. It also said it will now peg the yuan against a "market basket" of numerous currencies, although it will keep the yuan in a tight band rather than letting it trade freely. (Full story.)

"There has been an expectation of a revaluation, and I'm not sure what the reaction will be to such a limited move," said Duncan Clark, director and founder of Beijing-based IT consultants BDA.

"The move was priced into Chinese Internet stocks and there has been some appreciation in anticipation of a revaluation," Clark said. "If anything, the stocks may go down slightly right after the news because the revaluation was small."

The move, while small at this point, has paved the way for speculation that there will be further revaluations later.

Analysts like Jason Tsai at ThinkEquity Partners said the market would likely see a 2.1 percent increase in company values, in line with the currency move.

"It will be considered a one-time adjustment, rather than any real growth in a company's value," said Tsai.

But economists say that investing in overseas-listed Chinese companies simply to capitalize on a yuan revaluation is a risky proposition.

"This is a short-term strategy that is fraught with danger for many investors, since they often don't know much about the finances of the assets they purchase," James Berman, president of US-based JBGLOBAL.com, an investment advisory firm, told the state-run China Daily earlier this year.

Tsai agreed. "A yuan revaluation shouldn't have anything to do with whether people will buy Sina (up $0.93 to $27.83, Research) stock or bonds or not," he said.  Top of page

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