Goldman sees China's growth slowing to 7 percent for next decade

Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:56am EDT
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By Charmian Kok

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China's economy is expected to grow at a much slower pace of about seven percent over the next decade, but its stock market still has the most attractive upside among "BRIC" countries, according to Jim O'Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

"China is in the early stages of going from a long period where it was all about the quantity of growth, into an era where the focus is on the quality of growth," O'Neill told a news conference in Singapore.

O'Neill, who coined the term "BRICs" to describe the emerging countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, said markets have not fully factored in the next decade of slower growth for the world's second-largest economy.

That, he said, explains the underperformance of China's stock market.

After three decades of breakneck development that saw annual growth average of 10 percent, China's government is trying to steer growth lower to complete structural economic reforms.

"We're all used to the drug of 10 percent growth and those days are behind us," said O'Neill.

As China makes its transition, O'Neill expects consumer-related and healthcare companies to benefit, while those that depend on heavy industry production and heavy industry commodities were likely to lose out.

Investors are concerned over the timing of China's planned slowdown, as it could be derailed by the global economic downturn that has sapped overseas orders for exports from China's vast factory sector.   Continued...

Workmen stand on scaffolding underneath a railway bridge located on the outskirts of Beijing September 13, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray