Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

China's equity markets.

Michael Pettis, in his most recent blog post:
It seemed to me that the speculative nature of Chinese markets has nothing to do with the Chinese "love of gambling," but rather is caused by the lack of tools available for value investing - macro data is questionable, financial statements are very poor, the corporate governance framework is at best mysterious, and the regulatory and policy framework is constantly shifting, often to achieve government objectives. Even Warren Buffet would give up trying to invest for value if he moved to China and traded A-shares.

On the other hand the market is extremely conducive to speculative activity. Speculators trade on short term changes in supply and demand factors, and in China stocks move rapidly for a number of non-fundamental reasons - changes in liquidity, regulatory and policy changes, insider activity, policy signaling, and so on.

Until the conditions that penalize fundamental investing and encourage speculation change, the Chinese stock market will be purely speculative no matter how many "sophisticated" investors or derivative instruments are available. A lot of people hoped that the introduction of index trading would allow investors to hedge and so somehow because of that would make the markets more fundamentally driven and stable.

This won't happen. It is not because Shanghai lacks the accouterments of the NYSE or LSE that it is an unsophisticated and "speculative" market. It is because the tools value investors need - reliable information, clear corporate governance, a stable regulatory and policy framework, limited government interference - don't exist. Index futures change none of that.
Tags: money
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