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China to pick brokerages for margin trade, short selling: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Eleven Chinese brokerages including Citic Securities Co <600030.SS> and Haitong Securities Co <600837.SS> will vie to be included in a pilot program for margin trading and short selling following a nationwide test run in 2008, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday, citing an unidentified regulator.

Brokerages will be allowed to use only their own money and stocks in margin trading and short selling during the trial period, the report said.

China is also likely to set a minimum 500,000 yuan (about $73,000) threshold for participants eligible for index futures, while training and experience in mock trading will also be required, the newspaper said.

Other brokerages in the group include Everbright Securities Co <601788.SS>, China Merchants Securities Co <600999.SS>, Guotai Junan Securities Co, Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co, Guosen Securities Co, GF Securities Co, Galaxy Securities Co, Huatai Securities Co and Orient Securities Co, the newspaper said.

The report did not say how many of the 11 would be selected or when the government would announce its selections.

China approved the launch of stock index futures as well as short selling and margin trading of stocks last Friday, giving Chinese investors hedging tools.

Index futures, which will be traded on the China Financial Futures Exchange in Shanghai, will take about three months to start up, while the trial period for margin trading and short selling will come relatively soon, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said.

Margin trading allows investors to buy shares using borrowed money, and short selling allows investors to sell borrowed stocks in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price to profit from the decline.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen; Editing by Ken Wills)

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