Mainland shares 'may fall up to 9pc more'
Mainland stocks could drop by another 9 per cent amid increasing risks of an economic hard landing, predicts Guotai Junan Securities.
The Shanghai-based brokerage, which has gained a reputation for correctly calling the market, said the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index could fall to the 2,400-point level despite having already lost 6 per cent this year.
'The downward momentum could accelerate should the soaring inflation continue to plague the economy,' Guotan Junan analyst Zhong Hua said. 'It is unlikely that a rebound will take place before the fourth quarter of this year.'
Guotai Junan, the only major Chinese brokerage to predict another year of decline on the A-share market, has in the past often boldly predicted downturns in the face of rivals' upbeat forecasts.
The Shanghai index slid 0.8 per cent to 2,642.8 yesterday, hitting its lowest this year.
At the beginning of this year, brokerages said they were expecting a market rally after the index lost 14.3 per cent last year, making it the world's third-worst performer.
Despite Guotai Junan's pessimistic prediction, other analysts said they still believed the A-share market would soon bottom out because most stocks were undervalued at their current levels.
'The market is expected to hit the bottom this month, followed by a sharp rebound,' Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi said. 'Market outlook is not very bearish.'
Guosen Securities analyst Yan Li said the index would bottom out when it hit the 2,600-point level.
Beijing has tightened its monetary policy to avoid a hard landing as inflation becomes increasingly difficult to contain.
The consumer price index rose 5.5 per cent year on year in May, the highest in 34 months. It is expected to jump 6 per cent this month.
Many economists have said austerity measures such as curbing loans to businesses and individuals would help the economy complete a soft landing in the coming months and mitigate the risks of an economic crash.
But Guotai Junan insists that the possibility of a hard landing cannot be ruled out.
In early 2008, the Shanghai-based brokerage was the first to predict a 20 per cent drop in the market when investors were still bullish that the key indicator would re-enter the record 6,000-point territory it occupied in October 2007.
Guotai Junan and China International Capital Corp were the two major Chinese brokerages that correctly predicted the A-share market's decline last year.