If the China economic miracle takes a dive, a lot of gung-ho investors are going to be caught flat-footed.
Chinese utility company stocks are down since 2009, largely because China’s government controls electricity prices and has kept them artificially low due to inflation concerns. At the same time the price of coal has soared 50%, catching utilities in a big squeeze.
If the overall Chinese economy slows, demand for electricity will fall. But that would allow the utility companies to cut costs and increase margin since there would likely be a lag before Beijing acted to cut electricity prices, Denning writes.