More Chinese Companies Freeze Share Trading

SHANGHAI, CHINA – About 1,323 listed Chinese firms have suspended trading on mainland exchanges, locking up at least USD2.6 trillion worth of shares, or nearly half of China’s market capitalization.

About 353 companies listed on the Shanghai exchange suspended trading while 970 were halted in Shenzhen as of Wednesday as the government scrambles to prevent a further fallout of the market.

china-stock-marketThe China Financial Futures Exchange raised margin requirements for sell orders on CSI 500 index futures, while China Securities Finance Corp said it will buy more shares of small- and mid-cap companies.

The move is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to stem a stock market rout that has already wiped more than USD3.5 trillion of value.

But the measures still have failed to revive confidence among stock investors. On Tuesday, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.9%, heading for its lowest level since 19 March, while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 3.3%.

Hong Kong is also feeling the effects of the panic in mainland markets as the Hong Kong market plunged more than 4 percent. –