Investors want to keep the bull market rational

Updated: 2007-03-07 14:20

Beijing equity investor Li Xiaowei is still confident about the Chinese stock market despite the freaky plunge last week. He hopes that the Fifth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) will reassure him about the solidity of the bull market.

"I think the stock market needs an overhaul if it is going to develop in a healthy way," said Li.

Chinese stocks jumped to a record high on the first trading day after the Lunar New Year break. But the next day the market witnessed its biggest single-day fall in a decade, plunging 8.8 percent.

The volatility of the market doesn't seem to put off most Chinese investors like Li. There was no sign in the stock or currency markets that investors were pulling large amounts of money out of the market.

Wang Yihan, a 60-year-old Shanghai native, is another shareholder who remains positive about Chinese stock. "Even at 3,000 points, I don't believe the Shanghai Composite Index has reached its peak."

"The performance of listed companies is good, and there is abundant money in the market. For investors, it's a good time to taste the fruit of the country's economic development," said Wang. Though he lost a packet last week, Wang doesn't plan to pull out of the stock market.

In the wake of government-led reforms aimed at pulling the Chinese equity market out of a long-running bear market, the country's stock markets surged 130 percent in 2006. With investors being rewarded generously, about 2.42 million new accounts were opened in Shanghai brokerage trading rooms, or 2.5 times the number for 2005.

This year, about 1.38 million A share accounts were opened in Shanghai and Shenzhen in January. Over 100,000 new accounts were opened each day on the first four trading days after the Lunar New Year.

Cao Yuanzheng, an economist with BOC International Holdings Limited, said equity division has made the market a more attractive place to independent investors. Chinese households' rising disposable income also contributed to last year's booming market.

However, some analysts are concerned about stock market fever, arguing that many Chinese shares are overvalued and the bubble could burst at any time.

Liu Jipeng, a renowned stock commentator and professor with China University of Political Science and Law, said last week's fall was an internal adjustment that had occurred without any political or government interference. "It was a risk management lesson for new investors and is good for the stock market in the long run."

Premier Wen Jiabao pledged in his work report on March 5 that China will further strengthen basic market systems, continue to reforms systems for issuing stocks and bonds to make them more responsive to market conditions, raise the quality of listed companies and strengthen market supervision.

For the government, establishing a mature, modern capital market is a key task.

Li Xiaowei didn't expect any favorable policies to emerge from the Session. "The policy environment is already very good, but I do hope the session can announce some good news that will delight the markets and make the index rise further."

"If Government administrations adopt effective measures to ward off speculation and ensure transparency and justice, then we will have a rational and prosperous bull market," Li added.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)

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