Policy tailwinds. We expect China waste and water names to continue to outperform backed by favorable government policies towards environmental protection. We see China’s waste-to-energy (WTE) market continuing to expand in line with the government objective to lift the WTE-to-total treatment ratio from 20% in 2010 to 35% in 2015F. China’s wastewater treatment (WWT) market is likely to experience a gradual slowdown in new capacity additions as the WWT ratio continues to rise over the medium term; however, tariff hikes should mitigate the effect on earnings.
“Market has yet to factor in potential growth from new markets such as hazardous waste treatment (HWT) and water renovation projects. We believe HWT will become a new important income stream for China’s waste operators given increasing demand for third-party waste treatment and the higher returns it brings (levered IRR: 15-20%) compared with WTE (levered IRR: 10-15%). As China is still behind in its water renovation plans, we expect more investment in this area in the medium term; good news for WWT operators.
“Volume growth from new project wins, collection points growth, and M&A opportunities. We expect waste/waste water volume growth from project wins in both existing and new geographical areas, a rising number of waste/waste water collection points, and large-scale M&A. Watch for established SOE players with strong political connections, experienced management teams, solid“
Catalysts and risks. Near-term catalysts include (1) more lucrative waste/water project wins, (2) faster-than-expected penetration into new business segments, (3) additional supportive policies, and (4) large-scale value-accretive M&A. Downside risks to our view include (1) slower-than-expected new capacity expansion, (2) on-grid tariff, waste tipping fee, and water tariff cuts, and (3) rising interest rates.
The changing priorities of the Chinese administration from an outright focus on growth to a more nuanced, human capital, centred approach has obvious benefits for the environmental sector. Water treatment has been a particular beneficiary since China has substantial issues with providing ample water for its growing needs and related shares have rallied impressively.
The pace of China Everbright International’s uptrend has picked up this year but it continues to hold a progression of higher reaction lows and a break in this sequence, currently near HK$7.30, would be required to question the broad consistency of the overall advance.
Beijing Water continues to extend the breakout to new all-time highs but is becoming increasingly overextended relative to a trend mean such as the 200-day MA. The first clear downward dynamic is likely to mark a peak of at least near-term significance.
Guangdong Investment unwound an overextension relative to the 200-day MA and spent much of the last few months consolidating in the region of the 200-day MA. A sustained move below HK$6.70 would be required to question medium-term uptrend consistency.Back to top