Photo: AFP

광대역 이동통신 인프라를 구축하는 컨소시엄인 차이나타워(China Tower)의 주가는 지난 1년 동안 50% 가까이 오르며 홍콩 H지수 편입 기업 주식들 중 최고 상승률을 기록했다.

H지수는 중국 본토기업이 발행하고 홍콩 거래소에 상장된 주식(H-Shares) 중 시가총액과 거래량 등의 기준에 의해 분류한 40개 종목으로 구성된 지수를 말한다.

사실 5세대(5G) 이동통신 인프라 관련 분야에 종사하는 주요 기업들의 주가 상승률은 전체 시장 상승률을 훨씬 웃돈다.

화웨이에 이어 중국에서 두 번째로 큰 통신장비 제조업체인 ZTE는 2018년 초 미국의 자국내 휴대전화 칩 판매 금지 조치로 도산 위기에 빠졌다. ZTE의 주식 거래는 중단됐고, 거래가 재개됐을 때 주가는 60% 폭락했다. 하지만 이후 ZTE의 주가는 강한 반등세를 나타냈다.

화웨이가 비상장 기업이라는 점에서 ZTE의 주가 움직임은 상장 시 화웨이 주식 움직임을 미리 엿볼 수 있게 해준다. 다시 말해, 올해 나타난 ZTE의 강력한 반등은 투자자들이 화웨이의 5세대(G) 이동통신장비를 서방 주요국에서 퇴출 시키려는 미국의 움직임에 큰 영향을 받지 않을 수도 있다는 해석이 가능하다.

5G 장비 분야의 다른 대형 업체들로는 스웨덴의 에릭슨(Ericsson)과 핀란드의 노키아( Nokia) 두 곳밖에 더 없다. 이 두 스칸디나비아 기업은 그들의 연구개발비를 합친 것보다 두 배를 쓰는 화웨이에 크게 뒤처져 있다. 다만 정치적 고려가 그들을 밀어주고 있을 뿐이다.

일부 국가들은 미국 편을 들고자 화웨이에 썼던 돈의 일부 내지는 전부를 다른 기업으로 돌릴 예정이다. 이런 기대감이 작용하면서 지난 몇 달 동안 유럽 증시가 부진한 모습을 보인 가운데서도 에릭슨과 노키아의 주가는 매우 강한 오름세를 보였다.

5G 붐은 계속될 전망이다. 이것은 빠른 다운로드 외에도 다른 여러 가지 중요한 용도로 응용 가능한 획기적인 기술이다. 불과 1,000분의 1초 만에 방대한 양의 데이터를 매우 빠르게 전송할 수 있는 5G가 가진 능력은 산업 자동화 시스템들이 서로 효과적으로 소통할 수 있게 해준다. 이것이 완전히 새로운 산업혁명까지는 아니더라도 그에 버금간다고 말할 수 있다.

5G 분야와 달리 미국의 예산 대치와 미중 무역협상과 관련해 최근 긍정적인 뉴스들이 나왔지만 증시 전반적으로는 상승 자신감은 약해 보인다. 글로벌 시장조사업체인 팩트셋(Factset)이 집계한 증권사 전망치에 따르면 기업 순익 증가가 둔화되면서 올해 실적이 작년 보다 감소할 가능성도 있다.

분석가들은 여전히 연말 기업 순익의 반등을 점치고 있지만, 이 전망대로 되려면 미국 소비자들이 경제와 기업 실적을 뒷받침해줘야 한다.

미국 기업들이 해외에서 올리는 이윤은 늘어나지 않을 것이고, 달러 강세로 그것이 미국 경제에 미칠 긍정적인 영향도 줄어들 것이다. 유럽의 절반은 이미 침체에 빠졌고, 최근 나온 자료를 보면 유로존의 산업생산은 전년대비 4.5% 감소했다. 일본 경제 성장 기대감도 물 건너갔다. 중국은 여전히 성장하고 있지만, 미국의 대중 수출이 12월 현재 전년대비 36% 감소했다. 미중 무역분쟁이 신속히 해결되더라도 연내 미국의 대중 수출 회복을 기대하기는 힘들다.

미국 중소기업들의 체감경기가 냉각되면서 채용계획도 줄어든 것으로 나타났다. 지난 1년 동안 중소기업을 중심으로 이루어진 고용 증가세가 끝나고 고용이 감소할 수도 있다는 얘기다. 소비 금융의 스트레스 징후도 적지 않다.

소비자 부채 연체율은 3%대(위 차트의 ‘전체’(All))로 아직까지 상당히 낮은 편이지만, 이는 2008년 터진 금융위기 이후 신용 기준이 강화된 영향이 크다. 은행들은 신용점수가 낮은 주택 소유자들에게 담보 대출을 해주지 않고 있다. 반면 은행들이 신용기준을 완화해 온 자동차와 학자금 대출 연체율은 조금씩 오르고 있다.

전반적으로 S&P500 기업들의 장기 실적 호조 기대감과 도널드 트럼프 대통령이 주도한 경제 호황이 더 이상 유효하지 않은 것으로 보인다.

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