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Keep faith in China, guru tells investors
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Jim Rogers, who in April 2006 correctly predicted oil would reach US$100 a barrel and gold US$1,000 an ounce, yesterday told investors not to give up on Chinese shares despite a drop of nearly 50 percent this year.

"Start buying when others say 'never again'," Rogers, 65, told an investor conference in Nanjing.

There is "much money to be made" from investments in Chinese stocks, he said.

China's CSI 300 Index has slumped 52 percent from its October 16 peak on concern government measures to curb consumer prices will hurt earnings growth.

Rogers, who first started buying Chinese stocks in 1999, said he hasn't sold any of his holdings.

Andrew Sullivan, a sales trader at Mainfirst Securities Hong Kong Ltd, said it's still a growth story in China. "It still has a good manufacturing industry," he said.

Bloomberg News said China's economy expanded 10.6 percent in the first quarter even as export growth cooled and industrial companies' profit growth slowed as oil and gas costs surged.

Chinese stocks slumped on Friday on speculation the government will increase interest rates to help tame inflation.

Rogers said the correction is "the way the market works," and investors shouldn't be "market timers" trying to figure out when is the bottom.

"You should get in at a time like now," Rogers said. "I'm starting to think about buying again."

He said he'd be "investing in China for the rest of the century."

About 200 people - a full house - paid up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,300) a head to hear Rogers speak at the two-hour event. The cheapest ticket was 3,800 yuan.

Investors should also learn about commodities, Rogers said.

Oil prices, which reached a record in New York trading on Friday, will go higher, he said.

Crude oil for August delivery rose 57 cents, or 0.4 percent, to a record close of $140.21 a barrel on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, extending its gain this year to 46 percent.

The price of oil will keep rising, "unless someone finds a major oil field very quickly, in accessible areas," Rogers said.

Sullivan said the oil trend is still high even though the United States is trying to curb oil speculation.

(Shanghai Daily June 29, 2008)

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