The Shanghai Composite Index declined last week by 13.32%, by far its largest one week decline of the past year. The Shanghai remains up 121.2% from one year ago and NIA believes that a much larger crash is imminent.
The Shanghai rally has been fueled by uneducated, inexperienced retail investors entering the market for the first time due to momentum and leveraging up with margin debt. During the week ending May 29th, Chinese investors opened a record 4,435,255 stock brokerage accounts, up 2,155% from a 2008-2015 weekly median of 196,671 newly opened accounts.
Despite the Shanghai Composite declining 13.32% last week, Shanghai margin debt increased by another 1.77% to USD$238.597 billion. Over the last 12 months, the Shanghai Composite has increased at a compound monthly rate of 7.68%, but Shanghai margin debt has increased nearly twice as fast with a compound monthly growth rate of 15.24%.
Although the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) currently has dangerously high margin debt equal to 2.58% of its market cap vs. its long-term average of 1.73%, the NYSE’s margin debt levels are relatively tame compared to the Shanghai. Since October 2010, Shanghai Stock Exchange margin debt has exploded from 0.02% of its market cap to a record 4.22% of its market cap.
Shanghai listed stocks are limited to a maximum daily percentage gain of 10%. When Shanghai traded stocks reach an intraday gain of 10%, they get halted for the rest of that trading day. After a company IPOs on the Shanghai, on the stock’s very first day of trading – it is allowed to gain up to 44%, with the 10% rule not going into effect until its second day of trading – allowing for a maximum first week gain of 110.83%.
In January-February 2015, a total of 18 companies went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange – and all 18 made the maximum gain allowed on the first day of trading of 44%. Amazingly, 17 of the 18 Shanghai IPOs in January and February, achieved the maximum first week gain of 110.83% – with the other company gaining 91% during its first week of trading. On average, these 18 Shanghai IPOs increased during their first month of trading by an insanely huge 185.65%.
These 18 companies have now each been trading publicly on the Shanghai for about 4-5 months. You would probably guess that the majority of them have declined back to their IPO prices by now, but as of last week’s close – they are now up from their January/February IPO prices by an average of 410.84%. They recently peaked with an average gain of 582.25% – before declining an average of 27.05% to their current prices.
The current Shanghai bubble has been closely following the 2000 NASDAQ dot-com bubble. It appears as though the Shanghai’s June 12, 2015, close of 5,166.35 was its peak – just like how the NASDAQ peaked at 5,048.62 on March 10, 2000. After the NASDAQ peaked, it crashed over the following 12 months by 61.9% to 1,923.38.
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