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Rule-based market can end the up-and-down cycle in stock market

By Xin Zhiming | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-08 07:45

Besides, the possible interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve is a sword of Damocles over the global financial markets. Although in recent months such hikes have been priced in, global investors will have to remain alert over the impact of capital flows as a result of the strengthening of the US dollar after the hikes.

The strengthening of the dollar has often been accompanied by a massive flight of capital from the emerging markets, triggering financial and economic turmoil. The Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, in which countries such as Thailand, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia suffered the most, is widely attributed to their unrestrained financial liberalization and the organized speculative attacks by some major international investors, but drastic international capital flows were also blamed for the crisis.

Facing such uncertainties, the domestic A-share stock market may undergo severe fluctuations next year. But for China Securities Regulatory Commission, the top priority should not be to keep the indexes stable-as it did last year. Instead, it should focus on systematic build-up to create a level playing field that rewards long-term investors.

To be more specific, the commission should make more efforts to prevent dishonest information disclosure and ensure listed companies do not refuse to "split dividends" among investors.

False information disclosure is like a cancer that has frequently damaged investor confidence in the domestic market for many years. The regulators have punished some wrongdoers, but the punishments are often criticized as being too lenient to root out the problem. And most listed companies have refused to share their dividends with investors, discouraging long-term investment and contributing to market fluctuations caused by short-term speculation.

Few stock market indexes in the world remain constantly stable. The regulatory authorities should therefore focus on maintaining a clean and rule-based market. If that task cannot be achieved, the domestic stock market will hardly be able to get out of the cycle of drastic ups and downs.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

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