CSRC to delist underperformers
In the latest move to bolster investor confidence, the mainland's chief securities regulator said Beijing would delist underperforming companies and weed out irregularities.
'Millions of investors suffer heavy losses every year and had to quit the market or halt share trading,' Guo Shuqing, the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told a meeting with retail investors in Guangzhou recently, according to a post on the CSRC's website.
'This is not what the regulator wants to see and we must honestly let the public know our stance.'
The strongly worded statement by Guo (pictured) was seen as a message from Beijing that it will shore up liquidity following two years of sharp falls in the stock market.
Since he was appointed to head the regulatory body in October last year, Guo has been actively seeking to revive the stock market, but his efforts have yet to pay off.
In February, Guo, who was the chairman of China Construction Bank before taking up the top regulatory job, urged retail investors to buy blue-chip stocks and predicted an 8 per cent annualised return on equity investment.
'He is doing his utmost to help disappointed investors, asking them not to lose confidence because the regulator is working hard to protect them,' said West China Securities trader Wei Wei. 'Some of the investors will choose to trust him.'
Guo is tasked with maintaining market stability following heavy losses by retail investors, most of whom spent years of savings to invest in stocks.
A small group of retail investors protested outside the Shanghai Stock Exchange in June 2008, blaming the regulators for being unable to safeguard their interests.
Guo has promised to reform the mainland's arcane stock market, encouraging investors to buy shares of highly profitable companies that distribute large cash dividends.
At the weekend, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange published a harsh delisting rule for the Nasdaq-style ChiNext market, indicating its determination to axe loss-makers so that unseasoned investors will feel safe buying stocks.
The People's Daily said in a commentary yesterday the stock market would become a dustbin if the regulator failed to throw out the bad companies.
Guo cautioned investors against speculating in newly listed stocks as they were usually priced artificially high.
He told investors the CSRC would reform the pricing mechanism of initial public offerings to protect retail investors.
Highly priced share offerings drained market liquidity that contributed to a hefty market drop in the past two years.
On the Shanghai exchange, daily turnover in the past 30 days averaged 80 billion yuan (HK$98.4 billion), nearly one-third of the amount in 2007 as millions of investors lost their confidence in the market.
The regulator has also intensified crackdown on insider trading after taking office.
Wu Xuequn, a deputy chief of the CSRC's Guizhou branch between 2008 and 2011, was recently taken into custody by police and questioned about alleged insider trading, the latest example of the hard line taken by the regulator against errant officials.
The Shanghai market yesterday closed barely changed while the Shenzhen market finished 0.88 per cent lower.