SHANGHAI — Share prices in China plunged on Friday in one of the sharpest sell-offs in years, accelerating a downturn this last week in what has been, for much of this year, the world’s best-performing stock market.
China’s two major market indexes fell in tandem. The Shanghai composite fell 7.4 percent on Friday. The Shenzhen composite fell even more, dropping 7.9 percent. Share prices in Hong Kong, which is regulated separately, also fell, by 1.8 percent.
Analysts had been warning for months about the risks of a stock market bubble in China, where giddy investors have driven up stock prices by purchasing shares on margin, or with money borrowed from brokers.
The Shanghai composite is down about 18 percent from its June high. But in Shenzhen, the so-called ChiNext, a kind of Nasdaq-style board on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange for growth stocks, has dropped about 30 percent in the last several weeks, meaning it is already technically in a bear market.Not to worry, though. The fundamentals are sound. It's a "buying opportunity"!
“This is not a bad thing,” Said Mr. Chi Lo, a senior economist covering greater China for BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “This is an opportunity for long-term investors to go back in. Many investors weren’t comfortable with those sky-high valuations.”