Evolving capital market a boon for businesses in China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 23, 2019
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Along with the progress of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years, China's capital market has developed from scratch and evolved into one of the most dynamic sectors in serving the growth of the real economy.

Starting from scratch

In 1984, Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co. issued 10,000 shares at 50 yuan (about 7 U.S. dollars) per share, making it the first listed firm on the Chinese mainland.

"We offered 10 percent of our company's equity and issued the stocks to individuals, which sold out within one day," recalled Qin Qibin, first board director of the company.

Yang Huaiding, known to many as "Millionaire Yang" for his legendary success in the fledgling equity market back in the 1990s, was then just a warehouse keeper of a factory in Shanghai with a monthly salary of 51 yuan.

He started to invest in stocks after his "first bucket of gold" of 800 yuan through treasury-bond trades. Following the early successes of people like Yang, more and more investors rushed in.

Today, the number of stock-trading accounts in China has exceeded 130 million, meaning that about one in 10 people have an account.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, established in 1990 and 1991 respectively, together shared the world's second-biggest stock cash market, with 3,700 publicly listed firms worth 56 trillion yuan value of the total capital stock.

Serving the real economy

Having gone through ups and downs, China's capital market has always been true to its original aspiration -- serving the development of the country's real economy.

BYD, one of China's leading new energy vehicle manufacturers, has continuously increased its input in the research and development (R&D) by taking advantage of the capital market. In H1, its net profit surged 203.6 percent year-on-year to 1.45 billion yuan, compared to 479 million yuan in the same period last year.

Like the company, more and more listed firms have raised funds they need for business expansion and R&D input while feeding back investors with upbeat performances.

In H1, listed firms on the main board of Shanghai bourse claimed total revenue of 17.51 trillion yuan, which is nearly 40 percent of GDP in the same period, while counterparts in Shenzhen stock market reaped a revenue of 595 million yuan, seeing a 9.36 percent year on year growth.

Eyeing innovation, openness

In July, China's sci-tech innovation board (STAR market) started trading, signaling a new milestone in China's capital market toward greater openness, transparency and efficiency.

Unlike other domestic boards, it cuts listing application red tape, allows more market-based pricing, prioritizes information disclosure and tightens delisting rules by piloting the registration-based IPO system, a popular practice in many developed markets.

While embracing innovation, the domestic capital market has been accelerating its pace of opening wider to the outside world.

In 2014, China launched the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to let investors on the mainland and Hong Kong trade selected stocks on each other's exchanges, subject to daily and aggregate quotas. A similar link between Shenzhen and Hong Kong was launched two years later.

In June this year, the Shanghai-London Stock Connect program opened for trading. Under the mechanism, Shanghai-listed companies can list on the London Stock Exchange via the Global Depositary Receipts issuance, while British companies can issue China Depositary Receipts on the Shanghai bourse.

Financial opening-up, once considered a risk, has proven to be a risk well taken, and a boon for businesses in China and beyond.

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