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China Share Value Drops 400 Bln Yuan
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The total market value of shares already listed on the Chinese stock market has been reduced by more than 400 billion yuan (US$50 billion) after the resumption of initial public offerings (IPOs) in June.

On June 2, the eve of the first IPO, the total market value of shares listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, the country's two bourses, was 4,423.2 billion yuan (US$554.5 billino), but by Monday, the market value of the same shares had dropped to 4,017.8 billion yuan (US$503.7 billion), the Xinhua-run China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday.

Between June 2 and now, 10 companies including the state-owned Bank of China (BOC) and Daqin Railway have listed on the mainland market.

The 10 IPOs raised a total of 40.6 billion yuan (US$5.09 billion), according to the newspaper.

The market has enjoyed a solid run since late last year and there have been periodic bursts of heavy profit-taking but the past month or so has seen several days of significant losses.

On Monday, Chinese share prices closed sharply lower, falling 2.98 percent on continuing liquidity concerns as the pace of IPO approvals picks up.

Chinese regulations require investors to apply or subscribe to buy shares in an IPO by putting funds up front which are frozen for four days.

Potential investors are then selected randomly in a computerized lottery. Unlucky investors who are unsuccessful in winning the right to buy new shares have their funds returned within four days.

Dealers attribute recent index downturn to investors raising cash for the upcoming IPOs, with many of the newly listed stocks expected to do well and provide quick profits.

Dealers remained concerned about emerging liquidity pressure, with Air China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on the listing trail.

Within a period of nine months, the market value of newly issued shares is expected to exceed 3.3 trillion yuan (US$413.7 billion), almost the same as the total share value of the two bourses before IPOs were resumed in June, according to the latest report by Shenying & Wanguo Securities Institute.

The report blamed a high rate of refinancing and listing for contributing to the current slump, China's most significant in four years.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) suspended the refinancing of listed companies as well as IPOs for the whole of 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2006)


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