Over the course of the past nearly one year, the stock market in China has about constantly been in the news.
It started with a breathtaking rally that started from about 2,200 on the Shanghai Composite Index last September, capping a gain of nearly 150 percent, before it topped at around 5,200 in June this year.
The rally was widely speculated by as being a classic bubble — considering that it was not backed by a commensurate improvement in earnings — a hunch that turned out to be correct.
Since then, shares have fallen 44 percent to back to about 2,900, with the prevailing bout of extreme volatility indicating there may be further downside to go.
But the brutal selloff that the market has witnessed since June has not been without the Chinese government’s efforts to prop it back up, a move some analysts say has exacerbated the fall.
Here’s a list of things that the Chinese have tried, so far, to boost the market.
November 2014: The rally started after the government launched the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme, a move that allowed foreign investors to invest in mainland China shares (“A-shares”) through Hong Kong.
January, May 2015: While the rally was on, the quasi-government Chinese news agency Xinhua often tried to talk up stocks when they appeared to be stalling, Bloomberg recently reported .
June 27: Then, as the rally started to stall, the People’s Bank of China effected a surprise 25 basis points rate cut .
June 29: China said it would soon starting allowing the state’s pension funds to invest up to 30 percent of their assets into the stock market.
July 1-9: As the panic appeared to be worsening, the government and regulator initiated as many as 18 different moves: banning some large funds, state-owned companies and promoters from selling (or short-selling) shares, creating a USD 20 billion stabilization fund, suspending IPOs, and extending roll-overs for loans backed by shares, among others, a State Street document showed .
July 27: The above-mentioned moves appeared to have stabilized the market for a short while before it started moving lower again. This time, margin lender CSFC rubbished reports it would stop providing lending services to investors and vowed to support markets.
Aug 4: Exchanges moved again, banning same day margin lending for short sales.
Aug 15: As selling continued unabated, the state securities regulator said it would continue to support the market for “a number of years” but interestingly added that it was allowing market forces to play a bigger role in setting stock prices, according to the BBC.
Aug 25: After shares dropped another 8.5 percent, taking down world markets with them, Bloomberg reported the government had decided to halt stock market intervention, after weighing the “cost of the support” and its efficiency or benefits.
However, the same day, the People’s Republic of China slashed interest rates by another 25 basis points.