Big losses for more than a third of mainland investors, poll finds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am

More than one-third of mainland investors say they have lost at least 30 per cent of their equity investments in the first half of this year, an embarrassment for chief securities regulator Guo Shuqing.

According to an online survey by internet portal Sina, 35.5 per cent of the 54,400 respondents said their investment losses topped 30 per cent between January and June when the key indicator remained flat. Of them, 16.7 per cent said their losses exceeded 50 per cent.

As of June 30, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2 per cent from the close of last year.

The result dealt a blow to China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) chairman Guo, who predicted in February that investors could book an 8 per cent gain this year via undervalued blue-chip stocks.

The benchmark gauge fell 14.3 per cent in 2010 before slumping another 21.7 per cent last year.

Guo has been encouraging investors to buy stocks in the expectation of a turnaround this year.

Since he took the helm of the CSRC in October, Guo has been striving to bolster the weak market by curbing initial public offerings and urging cash dividend payouts.

The poll did not show the reasons for the retail investors' severe losses. Individual mainland investors usually chase short-term gains by trading shares on rumours. When they tally their accounts, they invariably find their performances lagging far behind the key indicator's movement.

'Many of them were still very disappointed,' West China Securities trader Wei Wei said. 'The regulator's upbeat remarks had given them a lot of confidence to buy stocks, but it seems the market will drop further.'

Investors had believed that Guo, who is also former China Construction Bank chairman, would act as a white knight to rescue the beleaguered market by rolling out a package of incentives.

The Shanghai index slipped 1.17 per cent to 2,201.35 yesterday, only 1.93 points higher than last year's close.

Another 8.9 per cent of respondents said their losses in the first half were between 10 and 30 per cent. About 70 per cent said the market had yet to hit the bottom.

The Shanghai index was among the world's worst-performing indicators in the previous two years.

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