Capital controls

Guest Post: China Is Not What It Seems

Guest Post: China Is Not What It Seems

On June 12, we saw carnage in the Chinese stock markets. The Shanghai composite has since tumbled in just three weeks, 30% from its seven-year high, wiping out more than $3 trillion worth of wealth.

What is even more curious is the stock market boom starting in June 2014, which saw the index surging up 110% to a seven-year high of 5166 points in June 2015, just before the crash.

Does this irrational exuberance in the Chinese stock markets make sense, especially with arguably ugly economic figures?

The fear of losing out in the great bull run has caused many young Chinese investors to employing excessive leverage. Over the past few months, margin finance has risen from a mere 1 trillion yuan to 1.46 trillion yuan in march 2015. 

And there we have it. The equation explaining the bull run in the Chinese market: Increase in retail investor participation + increase in leveraged stock trading.

 

China's Stock Buying Mania In 3 Charts

China's Stock Buying Mania In 3 Charts

Back in December, we wrote about how China was playing Palov's dog when on one hand it tried to clamp down on "excessive" speculation, while continuing to provide fodder for hungry speculators with the other. Fast forward 4 months and the results of the Politburo's efforts become evident, and rather grotesquely so.

As Xi Jing Ping along with his administration continues attempting to orchestrate a soft landing of China's economy, much to the hilarity of those that actually watch real economic and financial data emanating from the world's second largest economy, it seems the retail community has been much less patient about another economic growth renaissance and has taken their tokens directly to the financial markets in hopes of striking it big. 

If readers need a definition of what a mania is, the charts below should shed some light. Enjoy..