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Over 1 Mln Accounts Open in Post-festival Stock Frenzy
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More than one million new accounts were opened on China's Renminbi-denominated A-share market in only half a month after the Spring Festival holiday.


From February 26 to March 13, 1.23 million A-share accounts and 1.05 million fund accounts were added to China's Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, according to the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited.


Despite a market meltdown on Feb. 27, investors showed much greater enthusiasm after the festival than during the half month before the festival, when only about 465,000 new A-share accounts were opened.


The number of newly-opened A-share accounts after the festival exceeded that for the whole year of 2005, when only around 850,000 new accounts were opened due to a bearish performance of the stock market.


China's mainland bourses experienced a five-year slump after 2000. In that year a record 13 million accounts were added on the A-share market.


The annual increase in A-share accounts fell to 6.88 million in 2001, 2.3 million in 2002, 1.35 million in 2003 and slightly rebounded to 1.68 million in 2004. The total figure for 2006 is yet to be calculated.


Individual investors have demonstrated an increasing influence since the second half of 2006, when the market rallied forcefully, Thursday's Shanghai Securities Journal quoted the Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. as saying.


China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at a record 3,040.60 points on the first trading day of the Lunar New Year after continuously hitting new highs last year.


However, the Guotai Junan Securities Co., Ltd. has warned of the possibility of heavy losses for individual investors if a market bubble burst as a result of inadequate capital or blind investment.


On Feb. 27, Chinese stocks suffered their biggest single-day fall in a decade, plunging 8.8 percent.


(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)


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