Shares soar at ‘China’s Nasdaq’ market debut

BBC.- Trading in China’s Nasdaq-style technology board got off to a solid start. Shares surged in the so-called Star market with one top performer shooting above 400%.

China said last year it would launch the technology-focused trading board as it sought to cement Shanghai’s role as a global financial hub.

China, embroiled in a trade war with the US, is trying to assert itself as a global technology leader.

Some 25 companies began trading on the new tech board, which is operated by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

“It’s good for the depth of China’s capital markets and the growth of its financial system if regulators can encourage firms to list domestically rather than overseas,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economist.

“Making it easier to raise funds through equity issuance helps to reduce the reliance on debt in the Chinese financial system. This is still a small step in that direction, but a positive step nonetheless.”

Semiconductor firm Anji Microelectronics Technology was among the best performers, with its shares last trading a mammoth 400% higher.

Zhangjiang Hangke Technology, which manufactures battery testing equipment, jumped more than 120% earlier. It was last traded up 99%.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has said an index tracking the Star Market will be launched in the coming weeks.

The board was unveiled by President Xi Jinping in November and is seen as part of China’s push to grow its technology sector.

China is battling a trade war with the US, which Washington recently widened to target technology companies.

While the US imposed trade restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei on the basis that it poses a national security risk, some argue the US moves are an attempt to counter China’s ambitions to become a global technology leader.

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