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[SHANGHAI] Close to 300 China funds that oversee more than 1 trillion yuan (S$223 billion) are sitting on the sidelines with "ammunition" to enter the stock markets at any time, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Friday, citing its own calculations.
The report is the latest attempt by China's state media to restore confidence in the country's markets after a 25 per cent crash in late June and early July rattled both leaders in Beijing and global investors.
Panic selling has slowly ebbed after Beijing rolled an unprecedented series of support measures in recent weeks to avoid a full-blown crash. But many investors are reluctant to get back into the market after weeks of wild price swings.
The Shanghai Secruities News said it compared data of 294 funds on July 27, when stocks plunged more than 8 per cent in their biggest one-day drop in more than eight years, and on Aug 4.
The changes of the net value of these funds suggested that they had held little to no position in the market in that period, and were likely sitting on cash. "After the recent sharp tumbles in the market, the share prices of a proportion of firms have fallen to the levels before the bull market, the time to enter the market has emerged," the newspaper reported an unidentified fund manager as saying.
In a separate article, the newspaper also said that foreign investors such as UBS, Deutsche Bank and BlackRock Inc in interviews spoke highly of the regulator's market rescue actions, and were already bargain hunting or waiting to re-enter the market.
A Reuters survey of China fund managers last week showed they had cut their equity allocations to the lowest in 6-1/2 years as prices slid.
While some fund managers believe that stocks will be propped up by the bailout, others noted that the government will have to withdraw from the market at some point, which could trigger a fresh slide.
Foreign fund managers who cut their China exposure amid the recent rout are wary about putting the money back if Beijing continues to intervene heavily in its equity markets and restrict investors' ability to trade, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Many see Beijing's moves to counter the market slump as a significant setback to its economic reform push, adding to their difficulties predicting China share performance.