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Stocks slide 2.9% on loan probe jitters

[ 2009-02-18 11:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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The mainland stock market fell sharply yesterday, with real estate shares leading the drop, as reports that the banking regulator was investigating a jump in companies' bill financing made investors nervous.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 2.93 percent to 2319.441 points in hectic trade. It had risen 2.96 percent to a five-month high on Monday, bringing its gains this year to 31 percent.

Turnover in Shanghai A shares remained very heavy at 168.8 billion yuan, though it was down from 177.5 billion yuan on Monday, when full-day turnover neared levels last seen during the stock market bubble of 2007.

Data last week showed new yuan lending soared to a record 1.62 trillion yuan in January. The news accelerated the stock market's uptrend by fuelling hopes that economic growth might soon start to recover.

But 39 percent of the new loans were in the form of short-term discounted bill financing, up from an average 13 percent in 2008. Some analysts believe much of the money raised via bill financing went to chase short-term profits in the stock market, rather than into long-term investment in companies' operations as authorities hope.

The banking regulator is investigating the jump in discounted bill financing, fearing it could create excessive risks, China Business News reported on Monday.

Vanke, China's biggest listed property developer, tumbled 5.05 percent to 8.08 yuan amid concern that authorities could become less willing to cut interest rates further if they felt that the discounted bill and stock markets were overheating.

Hong Kong shares slid 3.8 percent yesterday, its biggest percentage drop in more than five weeks, after the Shanghai bourse broke its long-running rally.

Worries about slowing corporate earnings and likely capital raising weighed on shares across the board, with four stocks in the red for every one in the black.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 510.48 points lower at 12945.40 with investors fretting over a likely weak start on Wall Street later.


1. What made the mainland stock market fall sharply yesterday?

2. Looking at The Shanghai Composite Index what are its gains for this year?


1. Reports that the banking regulator was investigating a jump in companies' bill financing.

2. 31 percent.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Stocks slide 2.9% on loan probe jitters

Stocks slide 2.9% on loan probe jittersBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.