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English>>China Business

Equity market a dead end without short sale options

By Zhou Junsheng (Global Times)

13:44, September 12, 2012

On August 27, China launched a pilot refinancing program which is ultimately intended to help securities brokerages expand the scope of their clients' margin trading and short selling activities. Unfortunately though, China's securities regulators are still dragging their heels when it comes to allowing brokerages to borrow securities for short sales amid concerns that an increase in such trading activity could further damage the country's ailing stock market.

Hopefully the government will rethink this position soon however, since the time is right to establish a mechanism to support short sales in the mainland in order to both help local investors hedge against losses from the torrid equity market and push mainland shares closer to their actual value based on their performances.

At present, investors in the mainland can only take long positions in the stock market, which means that investors will turn a profit only if their shares rise in value.

Yet, as sluggishness in overseas financial markets and the country's slowing economic growth batter A shares, fewer and fewer listed companies are seeing their stock prices rise. Without access to short positions and the opportunity to make money during periods of weakness, mainland markets are suffering from a liquidity drought as investors ditch their holdings and sideline their capital until more favorable conditions emerge.

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