Measures to strengthen market’s role, promote what experts call a solid rally

China’s A-share market may have started what some are calling a “new bull run” that is more sustainable and rational than before, backed by deepened market-oriented reforms, experts said on Monday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rallied by 1.77 percent to close at 3443.29 points on Monday, giving the index a rise of more than 15 percent since the beginning of the month.

The ChiNext index, which tracks the innovative, startup-heavy board in Shenzhen, rose for the eighth consecutive session by 3.99 percent to close at 2889.43 points, the highest level in more than four years and a half.

Also on Monday, the ChiNext’s listing committee held its first meeting to review initial public offering applications on the board, the latest landmark in its market-oriented reform that aims to abolish regulatory IPO approvals and give the market a greater say.

Other measures to empower market forces are also on the way. A meeting of the country’s top body guiding financial regulation has urged comprehensive efforts to intensify the crackdown on capital market violations and reiterated the nation’s “zero tolerance” for such activities.

According to a statement published after a meeting of the State Council’s financial stability and development committee on Saturday, the country has substantially raised the cost of capital market violations via legislation, while regulators must strengthen the enforcement of laws to ensure a healthy market environment.

Cheng Shi, chief economist at Hong Kong-based corporate financing platform ICBC International, said the statement reflected the policy stance of enhancing compliance with market rules to improve information transparency, boosting the market’s role in resource allocation.

Respect for the market’s role will help pave the way for the long-term prosperity of China’s capital market, Cheng said. “The quality of listed firms will improve as market-oriented reforms accelerate the growth of companies with solid fundamentals while driving out loss-making ones.”

“The greater say of the market presents the biggest difference in the new bull run from the previous ones,” said Wang Haoyu, managing director of Beijing-based CreditEase Wealth Management.

The difference may make the emerging trend more fundamental-driven and less sentiment-driven, holding down dramatic market surges and meltdowns, Wang said.

Market-oriented reform efforts-ranging from IPO reform on the ChiNext and Shanghai Stock Exchange’s sci-tech innovation board to the deepened capital market opening-up-have helped usher in more long-term institutional investors who put emphasis on fundamentals, he said.

Wang said he expects the A-share market to offer some of the strongest upside potential across worldwide capital markets over the rest of year, underpinned by abundant liquidity, a fast economic recovery by global standards and reasonable valuations.

As market sentiment rose recently, however, regulators detected that funds began to flow into the market via illegal channels. They have stepped up efforts to halt the violations to avoid asset price bubbles.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the top banking and insurance regulator, will intensify its crackdown on illegal lending by banking and insurance institutions that finances leveraged stock investments, a commission spokesperson said on Saturday.

Analysts said the moves are in line with Xi Jinping thought on socialist economy with Chinese characteristics, which upholds the market’s decisive role in resource allocation and calls for better performance from the government in its role.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said the moves underscored the regulators’ intention to promote compliance with the law and maintain market order instead of imposing administrative controls.

Dong also called on investors to remain rational and refrain from excessive speculative trading.

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