Investors may be increasing the gun on Chinese stocks

Investors may be increasing the gun on Chinese stocks

April 6, 2022: -Some analysts remain pessimistic about U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, warning the road remains uncertain despite signs that they’re at less risk of being delisted from U.S. exchanges.

“Global investors may be surging the gun a bit. Everything is very premature right now,” said Shehzad Qazi, managing director of China Beige Book International.

March was a volatile month for Chinese stocks, which dived then increased as Beijing signaled support for its firms listed overseas.

The MSCI China index spiked nearly 24% for the month, turning around from a 25% tumble in the first half. This index tracks all Chinese stocks, which include those listed in Hong Kong, the mainland, and the U.S. Its top constituents are tech stocks. CNBC’s China ADR, which tracks U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, has jumped about 25% between March and April 1.

“I get the sense that many investors are pleased with the progress but not focusing on the fact that there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, a lot of unknowns,” Qazi told CNBC on Monday.

Harvey Pitt, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 2001 to 2003, added: “This is an effort by the Chinese government to create an appearance that there will be more transparency. The real devil will be in the details.”

“The only question will be: are people investing now in Chinese companies doing so with their eyes wide open?” asked Pitt, now the CEO of consulting firm Kalorama Partners.

In March, shares of Chinese companies came under pressure when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission started identifying Chinese companies that could be delisted if they did not comply with audit requirements. These included tech giant Baidu, biopharmaceutical firm BeiGene, and fast food restaurant business Yum China.

On Friday, New York-listed Chinese stocks increased further after a report that China is considering granting U.S. authorities full access to company audits. The China Securities Regulatory Commission told CNBC that it said some accounting firms to consider preparing for joint inspections. This would permit those companies to continue trading publicly in the U.S.

Over the weekend, Beijing proposed revising confidentiality rules involving offshore listings, removing a legal hurdle to cooperation between countries on audits, Reuters reported.

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