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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 16:59, December 14, 2006
Chinese benchmark stock index hit record high Thursday
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Chinese benchmark index on Thursday closed at 2,249.11 points, breaking the record in history that was created more than five years ago.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index that covers both A- and B-shares rose 1.15 percent to close at 2,249.11 points on Thursday afternoon,

marginally higher than the 2,245.43 points recorded on June 13, 2001.

The Component Stock Index on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange closed at 6,044.28 points on Thursday, up 71.80 points from the previous close. The total turnover in the Shanghai and Shenzhen market was 37.9 billion yuan and 20.5 billion yuan respectively.

Soon after the index reached 2,245 points in 2001, Chinese stock market entered into a four-year-long bearish period, with the index once dropping to 998 points in 2005.

So as to revive the stock market and bring back confidence to investors, the Chinese government has launched a reform since last year to end the problem of split share structure.

The split share structure, referring to the existence of both publicly-owned tradable shares and a large volume of state-owned non-tradable shares, was regarded as a major factor leading to the four years of bearish activity on the market.

To make all their shares tradable, listed companies undergoing reform have to offer additional shares or funds to private investors as compensation for potential losses in the value of their portfolios when the publicly-owned shares hit the market.

The reform has been viewed by the regulator and investors as vital for the capital market to function as an open and fair market for both majority and minority public shareholders.

In the past year, the Chinese stock index rebounded by about 100 percent, thanks to the sweeping share reform and other institutional changes that enhanced the supervision over listed companies.

China's current bullish stock market is robustly boosted by blue chips. The state-owned heavyweights with largest market value on the market, such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Baoshan Iron and Steel Company and the China Petro-Chemical (Sinopec), all performed well this year.

Plenty of stock investment opportunities still exist in fields of banking, real estate, energy, resources, environmental protection, information technology, agriculture, machinery and auto manufacture, dealers said.

Source: Xinhua

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