May 19, 2024

Chinese state fund Central Huijin Investment bought blue-chips worth at least $41 billion in the first quarter in a bid to shore up the sliding stock market, funds’ latest quarterly reports show.


The sovereign fund bought at least 300 billion yuan ($41.42 billion) of exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) in the first quarter, including Huatai-PB CSI300 ETF, E Fund CSI300 Index ETF, Harvest CSI 300 ETF, ChinaAMC CSI 300 ETF and ChinaAMC China 50 ETF, the ETFs’ reports show.


The purchases helped China’s CSI300 blue-chip index bounced back roughly 14% from five-year lows hit in February. The rebound was also aided by a slew of market-friendly policies and replacement of China’s top securities regulator.


Central Huijin said in early February it had expanded its scope of investment in Chinese ETFs and will further increase such investment, vowing to safeguard the stable operation of China’s capital markets.


The announcement came at a time when the stock benchmark CSI 300 tumbled to five-year lows as China’s weak economic recovery and a lack of forceful government stimulus damped investor confidence.


Central Huijin bought 26.3 billion units of Huatai-PB CSI300 ETF in the first quarter, the fund’s report on Monday shows, amounting to roughly 87 billion yuan ($12.01 billion) based on Reuters calculations.


The state fund also added roughly 73 billion yuan ($10.08 billion) of E Fund CSI300 Index ETF and 53 billion yuan ($7.32 billion) of Harvest CSI 300 ETFs, according to Reuters calculations.


Investors had suspected purchases by state institutions were helping the market.


In January, S&P Global Market Intelligence found more than $17 billion flowed to Chinese-domiciled ETFs tracking the CSI 300.

Goldman Sachs also noticed heavy buying of domestic ETFs by suspected “national team” state-affiliated investors.


ChinaAMC CSI 300 ETF also saw $7.73 billion of purchase from Central Huijin, and ChinaAMC China 50 ETF saw $4.97 billion in the first quarter, their reports show.



– The sovereign fund bought at least 300 billion yuan of exchanged-traded funds in the first quarter

– Purchases helped China’s CSI300 blue-chip index bounced back roughly 14% from five-year lows

– The rebound was also aided by a slew of market-friendly policies

China’s Q1 fiscal revenue falls as tax cut policies weigh

China’s fiscal revenue in the first quarter fell 2.3% from a year earlier, as some special factors including previous tax cut policies weighed, the finance ministry said on Monday.


The world’s second-biggest economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, data showed last week, offering some relief to officials, but March indicators showed domestic demand remains frail. The property downturn continues to hurt local governments’ finance and fiscal capabilities, analysts said.


China’s tax revenue dropped 4.9% to 4.9 trillion yuan ($676.48 billion) in the first three months, but revenue from cultural, tourism and advanced manufacturing industries grew fast, Wang Dongwei, vice finance minister, told a press conference in Beijing on Monday.


Excluding the influence of special factors such as a high base and tax cut policies of 2023, China’s fiscal revenue grew about 2.2% in the first quarter, he added.


Fiscal expenditures grew 2.9% on year to nearly 7 trillion yuan in the first three months, according to Wang, slowing significantly from 6.7% growth seen in the first two months.


Responding to a question about the slow issuance of local government special bonds in January-March, Wang Jianfan, an official at the ministry said that issuance was related to funding needs of local projects, seasonal influence on construction conditions and interest rates in the bond market.


In response to the impact of COVID previously, the ministry also stepped up such bond issuance volume at the beginning of each year, he said, indicating this had created a high base.


The finance ministry will support technology-led industrial innovation with “full support” and shore up technology innovation and manufacturing development with tax and fee cut policies, Wang said.


Amid tepid domestic demand and a property crisis, Beijing has turned to investing in high-tech manufacturing to lift the economy this year.


“We will strengthen macro control, focus on expanding domestic demand, cultivate and develop new growth drivers and prevent and defuse risks” to improve the quality and efficiency of fiscal policies and enhance economic recovery, he said.


Funds from the trillion yuan of sovereign bonds issued last year had been given to local governments by the end of February, the vice minister said. In particular, spending on disaster prevention and emergency management out of the funds grew by 53.4% in the first quarter.


In recent days, floods have swamped a handful of cities in southern China’s densely populated Pearl River Delta following record-breaking rains.

First Published: Apr 22 2024 | 11:51 PM IST