Nearly 5,000 university students will spend the next month trading shares in the first mock university stock investment contest in Shanghai.
Initiated by a stock club at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, the citywide contest provides mock trading accounts for participants and a real-time software trading platform. The software is connected to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The contest starts on April 10 and ends on May 23.
A strong response from students surprised organizers, who wanted to provide finance majors with practical experience without any risk.
"It's beyond our expectations to see so many sign up," said Lin Yuchang, head of the stock club.
Each participant will be provided start-up capital of 200,000 yuan (US$25,000). The simulated system will rank participants automatically according to the market value of each portfolio and give comments daily.
The most profitable contestant will be awarded up to 10,000 yuan. Intern positions at fund companies will be given to the top 20 traders.
Lin said that stock investments were a hot topic among university students due to the country's booming markets. The Shanghai Composite Index soared 130 percent last year.
A survey by Lin's club indicated that nearly 60 percent of university students in Shanghai showed an interest in trading shares while only 3 percent had a good understanding about how markets work.
Jian Fan, president of the Shanghai Theofund Investment & Management Co Ltd, the contest's sponsor, said the game could be good preparation for students seeking a career in the financial industry and also help the firm hire better candidates.
Yet students were more realistic.
"I will participate just for the bonus," said Wang Mingjian, an economics major at Fudan University.
Wang already invests real money in the stock market. His parents gave him 10,000 yuan, and Wang said his portfolio is now worth 12,000 yuan.
(Shanghai Daily April 9, 2007)