Skip to main content

China's Baby Steps Into Capitalism

There is market support practiced by most countries financial authorities, usually with things such as circuit breakers, etc... but what the Chinese authorities have been doing is tantamount to meddling, acts of desperation, runs afoul of free market principles or proper capitalism. 

Here are the things China has done for the past 10 days to stop the sell down:

1) drop interest rat

es by 75 basis points
2) ban IPOs
3) ask state own firms not to sell shares
4) ask securities firms to buy shares (this one is so puzzling)
5) allow companies who wish to suspend their own shares, for basically any reason ... now its close to 50% of all listed companies in China having requested and being suspended from trading
6) restricted short bets on index futures

as if thats not enough, today they announce that anyone holding at least 5% shares in any listed company CANNOT sell their shares for 6 months.

BUT ... wait for it ... this one takes the cake ..."Under new rules announced last week by the country’s securities regulator, real estate has become an acceptable form of collateral for Chinese margin traders, who borrow money from securities firms to amplify their wagers on equities. That means if share prices fall enough, individual investors who pledge their homes could be at risk of losing them to a broker." To allow punters to literally bet the house on it ... soon securities firms will be the biggest house owners!!!

The ChinaSecurities Regulatory Commission has done more than what is deem proper in order to prop up the market. But markets are in panic mode and is fuelled mainly by passions and not rational thinking. Two things guide markets trend, FEAR & GREED. There is now too much panic and fear, and every additional step taken by CSRC are being viewed of acts of desperation and add fuel to fear.

The cascading effects of China's correction lies not with just punters betting on the markets but rather companies themselves using their shares as collateral for margin lines to play the market themselves. Much of the funds has gone to manipulate, support or push their own share prices higher, and/or bet on other companies. The cascading effect is due to margin facilities being cut, stop or collateral being sold down.

However when you can willy nilly suspend your counter to evade a sell down, the selling can only build up, not abate.
China isn’t the only market with a history of state intervention. During the Asian financial crisis in 1998, Hong Kong’s government bought shares worth $15 billion to prop up the market. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily banned short selling on some shares during the global financial crisis in 2008.
Xi Jinpeng has a bigger vested interest to prop up the markets. Thanks to his anti corruption drive, and a deliberate move to divert hot money from property, he has fast tracked the popular HK Connect which allows China investors to buy HK shares and vice versa. In a way, its also a good way to channel hot or laundered money out of the country. This was seen as an OK signal from the government to the public that its OK to buy shares. The anticipation that the HK Connect train would also apply to Shenzhen shares soon cause massive speculation especially in Shenzhen's already frothy and more speculative market.
The Grexit situation was a good reason for some big players to start taking chips off the table, what was unexepected was the domino effect and the many banks and financial firms holding collateral shares acted first, to start the dump rolling. With foreign investors exiting as they regard more and more intervention sound like a really iffy stock market place - they sold and sold with little intention to come back anytime soon.
Lessons here - recognise bubble when it is bubbling. Central banks must make sure banks are well capitalised and their exposure have limited consequences. Margin limits must be enforced religiously. Then bubbles will still burst, but we want to minimise the downside effects as much as we can. 
Welcome to the world of capitalism. Live and learn.


Popular posts from this blog

My Master, A National Treasure

REPOST:  Its been more than two years since I posted on my sifu. This is probably the most significant posting I had done thus far that does not involve business or politics. My circle of close friends and business colleagues have benefited significantly from his treatment.

My Master, Dr. Law Chin Han (from my iPhone)

Where shall I start? OK, just based on real life experiences of those who are close to me. The entire Tong family (Bukit Kiara Properties) absolutely swear that he is the master of masters when it comes to acupuncture (and dentistry as well). To me, you can probably find many great dentists, but to find a real Master in acupuncture, thats a whole different ballgame.

I am not big aficionado of Chinese medicine or acupuncture initially. I guess you have to go through the whole shebang to appreciate the real life changing effects from a master.

My business partner and very close friend went to him after 15 years of persistent gout problem, he will get his heavy attacks at least…

PUC - An Assessment

PUC has tried to reinvent itself following the untimely passing of its founder last year. His younger brother, who was highly successful in his own right, was running Pictureworks in a number of countries in Asia.

The Shares Price Rise & Possible Catalysts

Share price has broken its all time high comfortably. The rise has been steady and not at all volatile, accompanied by steady volume, which would indicate longer term investors and some funds already accumulating nd not selling back to the market.

Potential Catalyst #1

The just launched Presto app. Tried it and went to the briefing. Its a game changer for PUC for sure. They have already indicated that the e-wallet will be launched only in 1Q2018. Now what is Presto, why Presto. Its very much like Lazada or eBay or Alibaba. Lazada is a platform for retailers to sell, full stop. eBay is more for the personal one man operations. Alibaba is more for wholesalers and distributors.

Presto links retailers/f&b/services originators with en…

How Long Will The Bull Lasts For Malaysia

Are we in a bull run? Of course we are. Not to labour the point but I highlighted the start of the bull run back in January this year... and got a lot of naysayers but never mind:

p/s: needless to say, this is Jing Tian ... beautiful face and a certain kind of freshness in her looks and acting career thus far

I would like to extend my prediction that the bull run for Bursa stocks should continue to run well till the end of the year. What we are seeing for the past 3 weeks was a general lull where volume suddenly shrunk but the general trend is still intact. My reasons for saying so:

a) the overall equity markets globally will be supported by a benign recovery complemented by a timid approach to raising rates by most central banks

b) thanks to a drastic bear run for most commodities, and to a lesser extent some oil & gas players, the undertone for "cost of materials" have been weak and has pr…