Business / Markets

Bubble fears trigger fall in equities

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-06-19 07:23

Bubble fears trigger fall in equities

Investors check share prices at a securities brokerage in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, on Thursday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 3.7 percent to close at 4,785.36 points, taking its declines for the week so far to 7.4 percent. [Photo/China Daily]

Mainland stocks appear to be heading for their steepest weekly loss since February 2009 as initial public offerings drained cash from the market and investors speculated the recent gains have gone too far.

The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 3.7 percent on Thursday, taking its declines for the week to 7.4 percent, led by technology and consumer companies.

Analysts are increasingly warning the stock market is in a bubble that will burst after the gauge more than doubled in the past 12 months to reach its highest levels in seven years. IPOs this week will draw about 6.7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) of bids, according to a Bloomberg survey of forecasters.

"Stocks have risen too much and valuations have reached critical levels," said Shen Zhengyang, an analyst at Northeast Securities Co in Shanghai. "Anything that is slightly negative can affect the market."

David Woo, the head of global rates and currencies research at Bank of America Corp, said the bubble in China's stocks rivals the dotcom boom of the late 1990s and its eventual collapse will have consequences for markets around the world.

A market crash may come within six months, Bocom International Holdings Co said on Tuesday, citing an analysis of global bubbles over 800 years.

The Shanghai index has jumped 133 percent in the past 12 months and trades at 18 times 12-month projected earnings, compared with the five-year average multiple of 10.3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Thursday's trading volumes were 13 percent lower than the 30-day average.

The CSI 300 Index lost 4.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng China Enterprises Index decreased 1.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index slid 0.2 percent. The ChiNext index of smaller and startup companies sank 6.3 percent, paring its gain this year to 138 percent.

Leshi Internet Information & Technology (Beijing) Co, the biggest mainland-listed Internet video provider, tumbled by the 10 percent daily limit. Liquor makers Kweichow Moutai Co and Wuliangye Yibin Co slid more than 4 percent.

Subscriptions for 25 IPOs including Guotai Junan Securities Co may tie up the most funds since January 2014 when China resumed new share approvals, according to China International Capital Corp.

The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of funding availability, rose 16 basis points to 2.5 percent in Shanghai, a weighted average from the National Interbank Funding Center showed. That's the highest since April.

The People's Bank of China did not extend at least some of the funds issued via its Medium-term Lending Facility, people familiar with the matter said. Some 670 billion yuan in three-month MLF loans mature this month, according to Bloomberg calculations.

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