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Funds see profits surge on stock investment last year
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Chinese funds saw profits more than quadruple last year on gains from the stock market, Xinhua learnt on Monday.

Altogether 341 funds reported total profits of 1.12 trillion yuan (160 million U.S. dollars) last year, 314 percent up from the previous year, according to annual reports disclosed by 58 fund companies.

Data showed 86 percent of the total profit came from stock and hybrid funds, which were favored by Chinese investors turning from bank deposits to stock markets.

At the end of 2007, individuals accounted for 94.55 percent of investors in open-end stock funds and 94.69 percent of those in hybrid funds, while institutions made up a larger proportion of bond fund investors, according to the TX Investment Consulting Co., Ltd..

The value of stocks invested by funds accounted for 26.47 percent of the A-share market value by the end of last year.

However, only 16 out of 248 open-end funds had gained in value since the beginning of this year, most of them investing in bonds, while 99 funds had shrunk by more than 20 percent, as calculated by the China Galaxy Securities Co., Ltd..

Chinese shares have plunged more than 40 percent from their record of 6,124.04, set on Oct. 16 last year.

The country's securities watchdog has approved 29 new funds since February, most of them being stock funds, in a bid to ease the capital strain in the declining market.

It would be hard to reverse the downward movement of China's stock market with new funds as liquidity concerns lingered and neighboring markets were still in a downturn as a fallout of the U.S. sub-prime crisis, said TX fund analyst Wen Qun.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended the morning session on Monday at 3497.66, down 2.3 percent from the previous close.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2008)

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