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China's Stock Market: Understanding Its Boom-and-Bust Cycles
Evans, Richard B.; Yang, Dennis; Qian, Junhui; Deng, Yangmei Case F-1985 / Published July 29, 2021 / 40 pages.
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This case explores the historical development and current state of financial markets in China, using the context of a private bank chief economist preparing for a client call. The case is set on July 7, 2020, as the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index reached a 29-month high. This new high was the result of the Chinese government’s efforts to stabilize financial markets after COVID-19 hit, as well as to calm concerns about capital flight because of new security legislation in Hong Kong. Students take on the role of J.P. Morgan’s Hong Kong–based chief economist, Hai Bin Zhu, in preparing to present his outlook on the prospects for investment in China overall and relative to other potential investment geographies, such as the United States and financial markets around the globe. The case covers the development of China’s financial system over the past four decades, focusing on the banking system, equity and debt markets, and the structure of household assets. Special emphasis is placed on the most recent boom and bust cycles of Chinese equities to help students understand the factors suggesting additional equity growth (the case for a “bull” market) and retraction (the case for a “bear” market). Additionally, the government responses to these most recent bull and bear market cycles are described, helping students develop intuition about how the government might react to future events. This preparation will enable students to answer questions that participants on the call would likely ask: How would COVID-19 affect the investment opportunities in China, and how did China’s markets compare to markets in the United States and the rest of the world? Most importantly, was this the time for American investors to invest in China?


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  • Overview

    This case explores the historical development and current state of financial markets in China, using the context of a private bank chief economist preparing for a client call. The case is set on July 7, 2020, as the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index reached a 29-month high. This new high was the result of the Chinese government’s efforts to stabilize financial markets after COVID-19 hit, as well as to calm concerns about capital flight because of new security legislation in Hong Kong. Students take on the role of J.P. Morgan’s Hong Kong–based chief economist, Hai Bin Zhu, in preparing to present his outlook on the prospects for investment in China overall and relative to other potential investment geographies, such as the United States and financial markets around the globe. The case covers the development of China’s financial system over the past four decades, focusing on the banking system, equity and debt markets, and the structure of household assets. Special emphasis is placed on the most recent boom and bust cycles of Chinese equities to help students understand the factors suggesting additional equity growth (the case for a “bull” market) and retraction (the case for a “bear” market). Additionally, the government responses to these most recent bull and bear market cycles are described, helping students develop intuition about how the government might react to future events. This preparation will enable students to answer questions that participants on the call would likely ask: How would COVID-19 affect the investment opportunities in China, and how did China’s markets compare to markets in the United States and the rest of the world? Most importantly, was this the time for American investors to invest in China?

  • Learning Objectives