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July 31, 2009

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New share accounts up

THE number of new stock accounts opened last week hit an 18-month high, reflecting growing positive sentiment among retail investors for the Chinese equity market.

The data from the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp showed that a total of 565,229 new A-share stock accounts were opened last week, against 484,799 a week earlier - the biggest rise since January 2008.

There was also a huge jump in new accounts opened by fund investors to 108,932 last week from 91,132 a week earlier, the largest rise since February 2008.

"People's enthusiasm has come back," said Zhang Qi, an analyst at Haitong Securities Co. "Investors who put their money on hold have returned to the market, and it is a good sign to sustain the market."

China's stock market has become the world's best performer so far this year when its benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soared about 80 this year.

The index's climb was fueled by China's stable economic growth and the government's proactive fiscal and easing monetary policies. China's gross domestic product grew 7.1 percent in the first half this year.

The number of active A-share accounts rose to 24.1 million by last Friday, a record high since such data were released in 2008 and quadrupling the figure of last year's low cycle.


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