Phew, still got it.
Photograph by China Photos/Getty Images
By Lucinda Shen
February 18, 2016

The hedge funder known for his bearish bets during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis says China’s economy is not headed for a fall.

Hugh Hendry, the founder of Eclectica Asset Management, refuted doomsayers during the Absolute Return Symposium for hedge fund managers and investors in New York Wednesday. He said China is not headed for an economic crisis or major devaluation, Bloomberg reported.

Hendry, who reaped a 31.2% return in 2008, projects that the Chinese government will try to encourage demand for the renminbi while dissuading investors from betting against the currency, thus raising China’s offshore interest rate, Bloomberg reported.

China has devalued the yuan up to 5.8% since the market rout that hit China last summer. The move comes amid worries about China’s economic slowdown. The lack of transparency surrounding Chinese decision-making process has also given investors jitters, leaving many unsure about how the government will react when the economy shifts.

 

That has driven several hedge fund giants including Kyle Bass, David Tepper, and Bill Ackman to bet that the yuan will devalue even further, CNBC reported.

But Hendry says a dramatic devaluation in the Yuan has the potential to hurt consumption, so China is unlikely to take that risk.

“It would be profoundly silly,” he said. “Chinese people are becoming wealthier and they’re spending. To have a 20% devaluation strikes at the heart of that policy.”

Six years ago, Hendry also predicted that China would potentially hit a recession. He has since changed his position, Bloomberg reported.

Last year, Hendry posted a return of 2.2% for November, up 5.4% year-to-date.

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