A total of 425.04 billion yuan (US$56.7 billion) was raised on China's equity markets through initial and secondary public offerings in the first nine months of this year, China Securities Journal has reported.
The figure surpassed the 423.89 billion yuan in combined funds raised on the markets from 2002 to 2006, the newspaper said.
The total included 126.71 billion yuan raised through secondary public offerings, 6.95 billion yuan more than the level in the 2002-2006 period.
In September alone, money raised through 15 initial public offerings (IPO) amounted to 149 billion yuan, or half of the money raised through IPOs so far this year.
The two biggest IPOs last month were China Construction Bank (CCB), one of China's top four commercial banks, and China Shenhua, the nation's biggest coal producer.
CCB raised 58.05 billion yuan, breaking the IPO record set by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, also from the big four, in 2006 with 46.64 billion yuan raised. A new record was set by the coal giant with 66.58 billion yuan raised.
The newspaper forecast that more big IPOs were expected on China's Renminbi-denominated A-share markets for the fourth quarter, including that of PetroChina, one of the nation's leading onshore oil and gas producers.
I suppose this is of no surprise to anyone, but the amount raised by public offerings in Chinese equity markets through the first nine months of 2007 have already surpassed those of the entire 2006. Is the stock market the new opiate of the masses in China? It sure does look like it. Gambling, of course, is illegal in the mainland, so the natural outlet for those favoring a game of chance is the stock market. With such a ready pool of equity buyers, can you blame companies for being keen on raising capital through issuing stocks? This comes from our favorite official news agency, Xinhua: