The Emerald Bay residential project developed by China Evergrande in the Tuen Mun district of the New Territories in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Lam Yik | Bloomberg | Getty Images
China Evergrande has committed “two cardinal sins” which have led to the debt crisis it’s now facing — and investors are “definitely sweating,” according to one portfolio manager.
The first “sin” is that the cash-strapped property giant has borrowed too much money, says Matthews Asia’s head of fixed income, Teresa Kong. Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer, has over $300 billion in liabilities.
The second is that the firm has “questionable corporate governance.”
“So when you have the two together, it’s like having a really dry forest and the tinder to really ignite,” said Kong, who is also a portfolio manager.
Problems at Evergrande have escalated in recent weeks.
The company warned investors twice in as many weeks that it could default. On Tuesday, Evergrande said it’s at risk of a cross default, which means such risks could spill into other related sectors.
Evergrande said Tuesday its property sales would continue to deteriorate significantly this month, adding to its severe cash flow problems.
The firm has been struggling to raise cash by trying to sell off various assets, but those have not yielded any sales yet, it said Tuesday.
Evergrande is China’s second-largest property firm by sales.
Analysts have been monitoring the possibility of wider contagion in the real estate sector, and larger financial systemic risks in China.
Kong warned that there’s “a lot of leverage” in the system. “That’s why… it’s really important to make sure that there continues to be liquidity, and there continues to be confidence,” she told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.
“Last but not least, certainly is to ensure there’s no more social unrest because Evergrande does have a very deep reach.”
Evergrande owns more than 1,300 real estate projects in over 280 cities in China, according to the company’s website. In recent days, protests by angry home buyers and investors have broken out in various cities in China, Reuters reported.
“So they’re all over in terms of their ability to deliver property, and if that gets truncated, we could actually see some more issues,” Kong added.
Foreign investors holding Evergrande bonds are “definitely sweating,” Kong said.
The government is clear on its goal of maintaining social stability, and that means putting home buyers first, according to the portfolio manager.
“The first thing you want to do is to provide … enough confidence … provide liquidity, so that they can deliver those homes, to those people who put in the down payments,” Kong said.
Mom-and-pop investors will probably be the second priority, she said, referring to less experienced retail investors.
“Whereas offshore investors, look, they’re institutional investors who actually should understand these risks. So I think that a lot of these investors should be looking at some type of amend and extend, meaning that they may have to take a haircut on their principal or, see their coupon being paid at a much later date,” Kong said. A coupon is annual interest paid out for a bond.
Evergrande has six bonds maturing next year, and 10 in 2023, of a total of 24 bonds it has issued, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Its bonds are also included in various Asian high-yield indexes.
Evergrande stocks have plummeted nearly 80% this year, and its bonds have also tumbled.
The Job Market Is Hot: Now Is The Time To Build Your Career
The job market is hot right now, making this a perfect time to build your career. Employers are struggling to find and hire great talent—and as a result they are offering increasing pay, perks and opportunities. You can take advantage of the tight job market to grow in your job and get on a path to your best professional success.
A new report from ManpowerGroup surveying 45,000 employers across 43 countries found organizations are hiring. And in 15 countries, their hiring plans are the highest-ever—since the survey began in 1962. In addition, a report from Monster found 82% of US employers are planning to hire in 2021.
ManpowerGroup’s report found that globally, the strongest hiring is projected for the US, India and Canada and in North America it will be greatest in the US (up 48%), Canada (up 40%) and Mexico (up 39%). In addition to these top-hiring areas, the following countries also expect increased hiring: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The countries experiencing the greatest difficulties in finding the right talent are India, Romania, Singapore, Bulgaria, France, Japan, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Spain.
The ManpowerGroup report found the industries experiencing the greatest difficulties in hiring are manufacturing as well as finance/insurance/real estate/business services. The Monster report found the greatest job growth will be in the areas of transportation and warehousing, technology, healthcare, professional services and construction. “This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturns,” says Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO.
Career Implication: Companies and countries are looking for great talent. Consider focusing your search on the countries, markets and industries in which there is the greatest demand for talent. Now may be the time to strike out beyond your current country or industry—and grow in new ways and new places.
According to data from Monster, 86% of workers say their careers have stalled due to the pandemic. And a survey of 500 Millennial and Gen Z workers by Elements Global Services found 78% of respondents said the pandemic made them question what they want to do for their job and career. In addition, people are looking for new opportunities and Monster job searches prove the point: They were up 18% in June and another 18% in July.
Career Implication: Now is a great time to regroup and re-assess your career goals, your organization, your culture and even your co-workers. You’ll be in good company as you consider what you love to do, what work provides the greatest fulfillment and the people with whom you want to work. According to Ruth Harper ManpowerGroup chief communications and sustainability officer, “Across the world we’re seeing talent shortages at their highest and rising including here in the US. These record-high hiring intentions as we emerge from the pandemic mean it really is a workers’ market right now.”
Work is a fundamental way we find meaning, express our talents and contribute to our communities. No job or career is perfect—there will be things you love about it and things that aren’t ideal, but you’ll experience greater happiness when you can align—as much as possible—what you love to do with what you have to do. And now is the time to reset and reimagine your career growth.
The need for skills on the part of employers is significant. According to the ManpowerGroup study, 69% of employers said they are having trouble filling roles because of a lack of candidate skills. And this was a 15-year high the data. As a result, 20% of employers are reducing their requirements for skills and experience, and 41% of employers are offering training, skill development and mentoring as a way to attract and retain employees. Claire Barnes, chief human capital officer, Monster, offers perspective on skill development, “Being able to upskill and retrain talent that you already have demonstrates career progression. It also demonstrates that if you are a strong performer, you have potential in the organization.”
From the employee point of view, the Monster study found 29% of employees say they are quitting their jobs because they don’t feel they have adequate growth opportunities, and 45% of workers said they would be more likely to stay with their employer if they were offered skills training. Specifically, workers want more development in technological skills like coding, machine learning, word processing (ex. Word, Google Docs), analysis (ex. Excel) and updating of professional credentialling and licensing. For those seeking new work, 54% say they don’t feel they have the skills they need to take them into the future.
Career Implication: Now is the time for you to consider the skills you want to build and the ways you can stretch to a new role, new job or new career. You may be able to enter a new-to-you field and obtain training from your employer. Or you may be able to enter a company leveraging your existing skills and expand within the organization through skill development, learning and mentoring.
Scott Blumsack, senior vice president for research and insights, Monster, offers this perspective, “The return to work poses a great opportunity for job seekers to leverage their skills for career advancement. Tech skills are always in demand across industries, but so are softer skills such as customer service and collaboration.”
With the tight job market, ManpowerGroup’s study revealed 31% of employers are offering increased wages and 23% are offering incentives such as signing bonuses. This is consistent with what employees want as well. According to the Monster data, 77% of job candidates define “career growth” as salary increases and the Elements study of several hundred career-related Google searches found one of the top searches was “jobs that pay well”. In fact, searches for jobs offering higher pay are up 120% between February 2020 and July 2021.
Career Implication: Your pay could be on the increase. Look for jobs that pay well and don’t be surprised if the pay range for your job or career has increased. In some cases, key skills or credentials are especially scarce, so pay ranges for those roles have increased substantially. Do your homework so you know what you’re worth.
Popular wisdom suggests you shouldn’t change companies for less than a 20%-30% increase. In addition, consider today’s pay, but also tomorrow’s income growth. When you’re assessing a new job, ask employers about signing bonuses, pay progression and what you can expect in terms of regular pay increases.
A caveat: Don’t consider wages as your only criterion for a new job. Income can be intoxicating, but you should also consider your fit with the culture, the content of the job, the leaders with whom you’ll work and the colleagues from whom you’ll have the opportunity to learn. There are a lot of factors which contribute to your happiness at work—remember wages are only one of them.
Remote Work and Flexible Work
One of the newest considerations for your career choices is where you’ll work and the hours you’ll work. Increasingly, employers are offering flexibility in these areas to attract and retain in this tight job market. ManpowerGroup found 39% of employers are offering more flexible working schedules and 28% are offering more flexible working locations. A study of 420 decision makers by Atlas found 95% of companies believed some portion of their workforce would work remotely, either full time or part time. In addition, companies predicted 1/3 of their workforce would work fully remote and ¼ would work in a hybrid model.
Remote and hybrid working arrangements are increasingly what employees are demanding. The Elements study found the searches for “jobs that are done remotely” was up 114% between February 202 and July 2021. And the study from Monster found 69% of employees who don’t work remote today are considering switching jobs if a new job would offer the opportunity for remote work.
Says Scott Gutz, chief executive officer, Monster, “…the world has changed in 18 months. Employees have changed their approach to work-life balance and the relative importance of being in an office setting versus a home office setting.” And according to Harper, “It’s clear that people have been changed by the pandemic and have higher expectations of their employer to align with their values, enable work-life blend and positively contribute to our communities.”
Career Implication: You will likely have increasing opportunities to work your way in your location. Consider how and where you like to work, and seek choices and options from your employer. You may be able to move to a new region or community and do a job which would previously have been unavailable. Or you may be able to flex your schedule so you can find the just-right mix of the rewards of your work and rewards of activities outside of work (children, family, volunteering, etc.).
Consider flexible work as one aspect of the set of advantages your career choice offers. In addition, give thought to how much you’ll want to be face-to-face with colleagues to build your relationships and present in the organization to ensure visibility and future career growth.
Now is the time to grow your career—in whatever way it is most meaningful for you. From more fulfillment and flexibility to greater pay and enhanced training, the opportunities are significant. The “fresh air effect” suggests that something new may seem ideal—and the grass may seem greener in the next role. But consider all you love and have invested in your current success before you make a jump. Chances are you’ll have plenty of new alternatives to choose from, and this may be the moment for a stretch, a new beginning or a new adventure in your career journey—in your current organization or in a new one.
Buyer demand nudges up asking prices for UK houses: Rightmove By Reuters
By Andy Bruce
LONDON (Reuters) – Asking prices for houses in Britain resumed their upward trend this month as buyer demand far outstripped the supply of houses coming to the market, a survey showed on Monday.
Real estate website Rightmove (OTC:) said asking prices rose by 0.3% in its September survey to reach a new record high of 338,462 pounds ($466,671), reversing a 0.3% drop in early August.
Overall the survey added to signs that the housing market has retained some of its upward momentum even after the gradual withdrawal of temporary tax breaks on property purchases.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak cut stamp duty, a tax on house purchases, in July 2020. But in July it started to return to its pre-pandemic level and the tax break fully expires this month.
The tax cut aimed to reverse a slump in property sales at the start of the pandemic, and helped fuel a surge in property prices and some new construction. Many households were already seeking more spacious housing suited to working from home, a factor which has led to big price rises in other countries too.
“The high ratio of buyer demand to properties for sale means that the property market remains stock-starved despite the summer lull lessening overall activity,” said Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data.
The company said the number of prospective buyers per property had more than doubled compared with pre-pandemic levels – chiming with a similar report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The August survey covered property first advertised on Rightmove between Aug. 8 and Sept. 11.
($1 = 0.7253 pounds)
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Goldman Sachs picks 6 Chinese chip stocks — some with over 50% upside
Workers work on a Panasonic SMT machine at guiyang Zhenxin Technology Co., Ltd. in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China, July 27, 2021.
Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
Analysts at Goldman Sachs have picked their top Chinese semiconductor stocks that they say are set for growth — some with a potential upside of more than 50% to the bank’s 12-month price targets.
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