With China's GDP growth rate having slowed in the last couple of years and forecast to continue this trend in future, many investors are shying away from China-focused stocks. The logic is clear: since China is no longer the fast-growth powerhouse it once was, there may be better investment options available elsewhere in the world.
However, this view ignores the fact that China offers a tremendous opportunity for consumer goods companies and financial services providers. Certainly, its spending on infrastructure and capital expenditure projects is falling. But with a rising middle class, demand for pensions, smartphones and clothing is likely to soar.
This is good news for Standard Life(LSE: SL), with the diversified financial services company attempting to position itself for growth within the region. With a large number of Chinese set to retire over the next few decades, Standard Life could see demand for its pension services increase while the penetration of other financial products is also set to rise over the coming years.
With Standard Life forecast to increase its bottom line by 10% next year, it trades on a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of only 1.1. This indicates that its shares offer a very wide margin of safety and that they could deliver stunning capital growth over the medium-to-long term. Furthermore, Standard Life has a yield of 6.2% and given the opportunity for growth in China, its dividend prospects are impressive, too.
Passion for fashion
Another stock that should benefit from China's shift towards a more consumer-based economy is Jimmy Choo(LSE: CHOO). The luxury brand that's best-known for its high-heeled shoes is intent on diversifying its product range so as to broaden the appeal of its brand and tap into a new customer base. This has the potential to boost its bottom line and with the company forecast to increase its earnings by 26% this year and by a further 20% next year, it seems to be moving in the right direction.
With demand for luxury clothing and accessories in China likely to rise as earnings increase, Jimmy Choo could see its top and bottom lines increase at a rapid rate over the next decade. And with its shares trading on a PEG ratio of only 0.9, they seem to offer tremendous upside potential.
Meanwhile, ARM(LSE: ARM) should also be a beneficiary of China's booming middle class, with smartphone sales likely to return to strong growth over the medium-to-long term. However, even if this doesn't take place, ARM seems to be well-positioned to grow its bottom line via other technology segments. For example, it's investing heavily in its capabilities within the Internet of Things space, which it thinks could positively catalyse its profitability.
While ARM is a relatively mature company, it's still expected to grow its earnings by 43% in the current year. This puts it on a PEG ratio of only 0.6 and with an excellent track record of growth, ARM seems to be worth a much higher price than that at which it currently trades.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of ARM Holdings, Jimmy Choo, and Standard Life. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ARM Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.