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Attractive valuations pull more foreign investors to A shares
Last Updated: 2018-07-16 07:35 | China Daily
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A robot grasps products at a booth of Gree Electric Appliances Inc at an expo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Shares of home appliance companies including Gree were popular targets of foreign investors in recent weeks. [Photo by LIU SONG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Global funds use stock connects to buy mainland equities worth $2.2 billion in 30 days to July 10

Bullish foreign investors are betting big on China's A-share market, new data showed.

Using stock connect programs, northbound funds-that is, international investors that target stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen through Hong Kong-pumped 14.9 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) into the prized shares in the past month.

According to information provider Eastmoney, net northbound capital inflows to Shanghai totaled 13.2 billion yuan in 30 days to July 10 and that to Shenzhen totaled 1.7 billion yuan in the same period.

The net northbound capital inflows were positive every month in the first half of this year except in February. The amount from January to June totaled 121.6 billion yuan.

Kweichow Moutai Group Industry topped the list in terms of transaction volume on July 9 and July 10 with net purchasing amount totaling 286.5 million yuan.

Shares of home appliance companies such as Qingdao Haier Co Ltd, Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai and Midea Group Co Ltd were popular targets of investors.

Dai Kang, chief strategist at GF Securities, said foreign investors have shown strong interest in the A shares as their valuations have been very attractive.

"China's economic fundamentals are better than in 2015 and 2016 and the yuan has got rid of unilateral fluctuations," said Dai.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, said earlier this month that recent fluctuations in China's foreign exchange market were largely due to a stronger US dollar and external uncertainties.

China will continue to implement a prudent and neutral monetary policy to keep the yuan basically stable at a reasonable level, said Yi.

According to a report of Beijing-based asset management company Starock, foreign funds have been buying into the A shares since March as they are bullish on the mid-to long-term prospects of the domestic stock market.

"China has low financial risks and the profitability and valuations of the A shares are good," said Starock. "The A share positions of foreign investors are low, and the potential is huge."

Between $600 billion and $700 billion of foreign funds are estimated to flow into the A-share market within the coming two to three years, as China has eased restrictions on the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor and the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor programs, said Thomas Fang, head of China equities at UBS AG.

"We believe the foreign shareholding proportion in China's A-share market will be increased to 10 percent in three years from the current 2 percent to 3 percent," said Fang.

From May 1, the China Securities Regulatory Commission increased the daily quotas in either direction for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. The northbound daily quota was increased from 13 billion yuan to 52 billion yuan for each stock connect, while the southbound daily quota was increased from 10.5 billion yuan to 42 billion yuan.

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