SHANGHAI, April 13 Fourteen companies in China
suspended trading in their shares on Thursday, citing the need
to further evaluate the potential impact on businesses from
plans to develop the Xiongan New Area, following a surge in the
stocks after the scheme was unveiled.
Although the companies, including developer China Fortune
Land, port operator Tangshan Port and
cement maker BBMG Corp, said they applied
voluntarily for the trading halt, some market participants
speculated that the hand of the regulator was in fact at work in
a bid to cool speculative fever around the "Xiongan concept".
The new special economic zone was announced last weekend, as
China hopes to mimic the rapid growth seen following the
establishment of a similar zone in Shenzhen in 1980. The move
sparked a frenzy of property trading in the area near Beijing
and in stocks believed to benefit from the plan.
At the weekend, Chinese stock exchanges warned several
listed companies against misleading investors with bombastic
hype around the red-hot theme.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange
could not be reached immediately for comment.
The 14 companies described their recent share movement as
"abnormal" - 13 of them saw their shares jumping to the 10
percent daily limit for six consecutive trading sessions - and
vowed to protect investors' interests. They did not say when
their shares would resume trading.
One of the companies, BBMG, said it would "further evaluate
and check" its Xiongan-related business, and make a full risk
disclosure. Its Hong Kong-traded shares, not subject
to the suspension, lost about 1 percent on Thursday.
Some analysts doubted the trading halt would check
"The securities regulator hopes to cool down short-term
speculation, but the Xiongan investment theme is still worth
chasing in the long run given its prominence," said Yang
Weixiao, analyst at Founder Securities.
He added those 14 stocks could rise further once their
shares resume trading.
(Reporting by Liu Luoyan, Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing
by Gopakumar Warrier)