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Stamp Tax on Stock Trading Up
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The stamp tax on securities trading has been raised from 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent beginning today, the Ministry of Finance said late last night.

An official with the ministry said the tax increase is intended to help promote the healthy development of the securities markets; and analysts said the move is to cool the over-heated market.

The tax rise will cover buying and selling of both A and B shares. It will also apply to inheritance and endowments.

The government lowered the rate from 0.2 percent to 0.1 percent in January 2005 in an effort to boost the then bearish market.

But from early last year, the market value has quadrupled as millions of retail investors joined the market frenzy, sending indices to record highs almost daily.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index yesterday closed at an all-time high of 4334.92 points, up 1.47 percent.

The smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed at 13456.6, up 3.3 percent.

The two bourses registered a combined turnover of 378.37 billion yuan (US$49.5 billion), slightly lower than the record 394.22 billion yuan from the previous close.

China has collected more than 100 billion yuan (US$12.8 billion) in stamp tax on stock transactions since the early 1990s, when it was first introduced.
(China Daily May 30, 2007)

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