An investor smiles before an
electronic board showing stock information at a securities firm in Xiamen,
East China's Fujian Province March 20, 2007. [newsphoto]
China's main stock index surged to a record high on strong growth of
corporate earnings and speculations of the launch of stock index futures in May.
The Shanghai Composite Index, the most widely watched indicator of the
mainland stock market, gained 2.27 percent to 3,398.95, extending this year's
gains to 27 percent after surging 130 percent last year.
The Shenzhen Composite Index rose 2.09 percent to 907.81
while the Shanghai and Shenzhen 300 Index of major companies climbed 2.23 per
cent to 3,038.17.
The surge came as Shenyin Wanguo Securities predicted a 55 percent
year-on-year jump in net profits for the listed companies on average in the
first quarter of this year.
Of the 81 firms that have made forecasts about their performance from January
and March, 17 projected that their net profits would surge 300 percent from the
same period last year, according to the China Securities Journal.
Wild market speculations about the stock index futures also helped push up
the indexes as major funds grabbed shares of blue chips.
The preparations for the launch of the stock index futures are going
smoothly, with the legal framework being improved, the Shanghai Securities Times
Monday quoted Jiang Yang, assistant chairman of China Securities Regulatory
Commission, as saying.
China Securities Regulatory Commission is the Chinese equivalent of
Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US.
The China Financial Future Exchange has basically completed the product
design, rules setting and technical preparations for the stock index futures,
Financial shares are major contributors to the boom. Ping An Insurance of
China jumped 7.50 percent to 51.61 yuan while its rival China Life gained 5.08
percent to 37 yuan. The Industrial Bank 5.71 percent to 29.83 as the Bank of
China was up 0.71 percent to 5.67 yuan.
Shanghai International Ports Group jumped 9.94 percent, close to the daily
limit of 10 percent, to 11.06 yuan. China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation
(also know as Sinopec) was up 3.29 percent to 10.36 yuan.