Saturday, December 31, 2011

China stock regulator says no help for market

BEIJING (Dec 31): The government does not plan to offer help to China's stock market, whose main index lost one-fifth of its value in 2011, and investors should instead have faith in market forces, the country's stocks regulator was quoted as saying on Saturday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended the year down 21.7 percent, its worst annual performance since the global financial crisis in 2008, amid evidence that Chinese factory activity continues to shrink.

But newly appointed China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing said he has no plans to ride to the rescue, the official Shanghai Securities News reported.

"There is no such concept as rescuing the markets; the markets have their own operating rules," the newspaper quoted Guo as saying.

People should have faith in the "superb" companies which underpin the Chinese economy. "We're confident because we have a number of strong enterprises in the real economy," Guo said.

Some have already listed, while others will join them gradually, he added. "So everyone should have confidence in the market."

China's factory activity shrank again in December as demand at home and abroad slackened, a purchasing managers' survey showed, reinforcing the case for pro-growth policies from Beijing to underpin the world's second-largest economy.

Earlier this month, Chinese leaders pledged to keep monetary policy "prudent" and fiscal policy "pro-active" to stabilise economic growth while keeping inflation under control. .

Some analysts and brokerage houses, including Guotai Junan Securities, are now cautiously optimistic for stocks after China ended a monetary policy tightening cycle in November by cutting banks' required reserve ratios.

Guotai Junan expects China's stock market to hit a low in the first quarter of next year followed by a rebound. - Reuters

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