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China Technology Bonds Reward Traders as Trade Battle Fears Ebb

The crushed-down bonds of Chinese web firms have bounced since the May flare-up in U.S.-China trade conflicts, reaping an excellent profit for traders who braved the storm to buy the dips.

Investors purchased greenback bonds issued by companies such as Alibaba (BABA.N) and Baidu (BIDU.O) in May, quickly after the market sold off after a U.S. declaration of higher duties on Washington and Beijing’s sanctions against Chinese telecommunications titan Huawei Technology.

“When things like trade battle begin to hit, the immediate response is to sell something that’s associated with China,” stated Henry Loh, Asian fixed revenue investment supervisor at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Loh was talking about the broad selling in these bonds by the U.S. and different offshore traders as recent concerns in regards to the technology sector, commerce, and economic progress sounded nerves.

Those who held onto bonds issued by Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (0700.HK) – known as B.A.T. on Wall Street – had been rewarded as leading central banks hinted at lower rates of interest and trade negotiations reopened, lifting the value of the tech giants’ investment grade-rated bonds.

“It’s worthwhile to get yield one way the opposite,” said Wonnie Chu, managing director at Tencent-supported Gaoteng Global Asset Administration, adding that bond buyers needed to either take a higher risk purchasing the bonds of lower-rated issuers or go for longer-tenor investment-grade bonds.

Chu said she bought longer duration bonds given by Chinese tech corporations after the sell-off in Might.

Since their sell-off, the restoration in the bonds of Chinese web companies has outpaced that of their U.S. counterparts.

The spread over comparable U.S. Treasuries on Alibaba’s 10-year bond 01609WAT9= has contracted about 40 basis points since early June and cleared all losses since early May. It’s now being traded at about 110 basis points above Treasuries.

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