Mr. Shangkong

Teacher Guo's pearls of wisdom on how to make easy money

Investors continue to be on losing end of bold suggestions from a CSRC chairman with perhaps the most bullish view about China's stock market

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 10:54am

Who holds the most bullish view in the world about the mainland's stock market these days? My answer is Guo Shuqing, the country's top securities regulator.

Guo, a former central banker and a former boss at one of the Big Four state-owned commercial banks, has led the stock market as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission for more than a year now. When he was appointed in late 2011, many had high hopes he would lead a market rebound partly because his predecessor Shang Fulin had been stuck in the job for perhaps too long.

Widely seen as being a strong reformer rather than a conservative politician, Guo came to the job aware of the high expectations and said he would try his best not to let his supporters down.

In a high-profile speech last year, Guo encouraged investors, particularly ordinary retail investors who drive about 90 per cent of trading volume on the mainland's stock market, to focus more on blue chips.

It was a bold suggestion since many investors had lost their money and faith in the market.

If the top securities regulator was asking you to buy blue chips, it should be okay to do so, right? So they bought some, and then they bought even more. The result? More disappointment.

Undaunted, Guo last week surprised delegates attending the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong with another bold statement. The quota for both the dollar-denominated qualified foreign institutional investment (QFII) scheme and the yuan-denominated QFII, or RQFII - the schemes that allow overseas institutional investors to buy stocks and bonds on the mainland - could go up by nine to 10 times, he said, without giving a time frame.

The two schemes now account for 1.6 per cent of the funds invested in the mainland's yuan-denominated A shares.

Fund managers say it takes at least six months for a new foreign institutional investor to get Beijing's approval to be granted a QFII licence, and then they must apply separately to the foreign exchange regulator for a QFII quota, which can take six months to more than a year.

That would mean it will take a while for the total QFII quota to rise 10-fold. But Guo's speech had an immediate and strong impact on the stock market. The key Shanghai Index jumped more than 3 per cent right away.

A day later, Guo said at another forum it was not too difficult to make money on the market. "If you really want to speculate, you buy and sell quickly, and you sell when you see all other people rushing to buy and vice-versa, then you will earn some money," he said.

No wonder some investors have nicknamed him "Teacher Guo", for his pearls of wisdom on investing.

Going by the rumours in Beijing, Guo is a front runner to replace Zhou Xiaochuan, who is due to retire soon, as the new central bank chief. Some industry watchers say that would be the promotion he has been waiting for.

Before - if - he heads to this new job, the perfect way to end his CSRC stint would be to get the Shanghai index up. That would be a class act from Teacher Guo, wouldn't it?


George Chen is the Post's financial services editor. Mr. Shangkong appears every Monday in the print version of the SCMP. Like it? Visit