China Economic Scan Weekly Stockmarket Review

Mainland stocks closed the week down with the Shenzhen Component down-1.95% week on week to 10,073, and Shanghai Composite down -1.78% to2,598.

Mainland stocks closed the week down with the Shenzhen Component down -1.95% week on week to 10,073, and Shanghai Composite down -1.78% to 2,598. Hong Kong stocks however closed up +1.62% with the Hang Seng at 17,063 and in Taiwan the TAIEX jumped +3.82% to 6,737.

During the week Citic Securities Chairman Wang Dongming said China has 300 to 400 companies waiting to do initial public offerings (IPO). China’s securities regulator plans to set up a new system for pricing IPOs and may “soon” end a moratorium on IPOs. Wang also said “The decision on who to list, how to price the listing should be given to the investment bank, company and investors,”

American Dairy reported Q1 sales of $113.8 million vs $39.1 million last year, on increased sales of infant formula. Milk powder sales rose more than threefold in the quarter. “Our first quarter 2009 sales reflect consumers’ flight to quality at the height of the melamine crisis in China,” said Leng You-Bin, chief executive officer of American Dairy.

Esprit, which makes 85% of sales in Europe, said that sales in the 9 months through March fell 2% to HK$27.2 billion ($3.5 billion) as the local currency gained against the euro. Esprit’s wholesale revenue, including earnings from department-store counters, fell 8% to HK$14.8 billion, even as retail sales rose 5.9% to HK$12.2 billion.

PetroChina said it will buy 8 gas suppliers from its parent company and issue 26 billion yuan in medium-term notes. Goldman Sachs Group raised its stock rating to “neutral.”

A Chinese Fund manager, Zhang Ling, at ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management which oversees the equivalent of $7.21 billion, said “Stocks are expensive now and have reached a level investors deem too high to be pushed up further,” and that “Corporate earnings have yet to catch up.”

Finally, in an exciting development, the China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) is said to be likely to receive approval to launch trading in a Shanghai Shenzhen 300 Index future soon, having conducted mock trading for a little under 3 years.

Trading in the Chinese stock index futures will be limited to investors who have a balance in their margin account of at least 500,000 yuan ($73,313.78); pass a CFFEX test; and have practical experience in the mock trading of stock index futures.

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