Chinese companies have found a guaranteed way to prevent investors from selling their shares: suspend trading. Almost 200 stocks halted trading after the close on Monday, bringing the total number of suspensions to 745, or 26 percent of listed firms on mainland exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Most of the halts are by companies listed in Shenzhen, which is dominated by smaller businesses.
The suspensions have locked up $1.4 trillion of shares, or 21 percent of China’s market capitalization, and are becoming increasingly popular as equity prices tumble. If not for the halts, a 28 percent plunge in the Shanghai Composite Index from its June 12 peak would probably be even deeper. “Their main objective is to prevent share prices from slumping further amid a selling stampede,” said Chen Jiahe, a strategist at Cinda Securities Co. FULL REPORT