ChiNext Collapse Continues As China's "National Team" Abandons Investors

After 10 straight days of dip-buying pandemonium in Chinese stock markets - extending gains for small caps from the start of February to +46%! - the last three days have seen a notable absence of the "National Team" rescue bid sparking a 9% collapse in ChiNext...

However, while ChiNext remains the world's best-performing equity market in 2019, Bloomberg reports that there have been hints that officials don’t want a wild rally, and state media reported that the regulator warned brokers on risks of over-the-counter margin lending.

China’s biggest state-owned brokerage also made a bearish call on shares of a state-owned insurer last week, a move interpreted as a sign the government wants things to slow down.

“This will certainly hurt the market,” Ken Chen, a Shanghai-based analyst with KGI Securities Co., said of insider selling.

“Some retail money will run for the exit after the shareholders’ plans to cut stakes, and that will deplete the upward momentum in stocks.”

Insiders were already concluding it was a good time to exit, with plans to sell a total 16 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) last week alone, the most since August, according to China Merchants Securities.

“Many shareholders of listed firms are cash-strapped,” said Shen Zhengyang, a Shanghai-based strategist with Northeast Securities Co.

“Now with the stock gains, they can finally cut their holdings and use the money to repay loans.”

Finally, Bloombergnotes that Further clues on the market’s direction could come Friday, as focus turns to Premier Li Keqiang’s press conference at the close of the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing.