CHINA STOCK MARKET

China's stock market officially opened in December 1990 when the Shenzhen Stock Exchange began trading. Later in the same month, the Shanghai Stock Exchange started operations. They are only two stock exchanges in mainland China.

Regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the two bourses are not entirely open to foreign investors due to tight capital account controls. However, there are two types of stocks being traded: A shares, which are quoted in the Renminbi, and B shares, which are quoted in the US dollar.

Monday through Friday, the morning session begins with centralized competitive pricing from 09:15 to 09:25 and continues with consecutive bidding from 09:30 to 11:30. This is followed by the afternoon session, which runs from 13:00 to 15:00. The two bourses are closed on Saturday and Sunday and public holidays.

Shanghai Stock Market
Securities trading in Shanghai began in the 1860s when the city was opened for foreign trade. By the 1930s Shanghai had become the largest stock market in the Far East, where domestic and foreign investors could trade stocks, bonds and futures. The Shanghai Stock Exchange ceased to operate after the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, and was not reestablished until November 1990.

The Shanghai Composite Index is the most common indicator of the exchange as well as the benchmark index of the Chinese stock market. It was launched in July 1995 with a base value of 100. The index climbed to an all-time high of 6,214 points on October 16, 2007, and ended 2008 down a record 65% following the global financial crisis. The index ended 2012 up 3.17% to 2,269 points.

As of the end of 2012, 954 companies were listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a market capital capitalization of $2.31 trillion, the sixth largest in the world; top 10 stocks by market capitalization were PetroChina (601857), Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (601398), Agricultural Bank of China (601288), Bank of China (601988), Sinopec (600028), China Life Insurance (601628), China Shenhua Energy (601088), China Merchants Bank (600036), Kweichow Moutai (600519) and Ping An Insurance (601318).

Shenzhen Stock Market
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange was opened in December 1990, days earlier than the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Unlike those traded in Shanghai, stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange are mostly smaller companies.

The Shenzhen Component Index, the most common indicator of the exchange, was launched in May 1995 with a base value of 1,000. The index climbed to an all-time high of 19,600 points on October 10, 2007. A Nasdaq-style board known as the ChiNext for high-growth, hi-tech startups was launched on the exchange in October 2009.

As of the end of 2012, 1,540 companies were listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capital capitalization of $1.16 trillion, the 15th largest in the world; top 10 stocks by market capitalization were Wuliangye Yibin (000858), China Vanke (000002), GF Securities (000776), Ping An Bank (000001), Gree Electric Appliances (000651), Henan Shuanghui (SHE: 000895), Zoomlion Heavy Industry (000157), Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town (000069), Luzhou Lao Jiao (000568) and Yunnan Baiyao (000538).


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