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China’s Plunge Protection Team Arrives: Urges Companies To Boost Stocks, “Avoid Selling”

Over the weekend, we along with Bank of America and probably most carbon-based traders wondered if any central bank or government official would step up on Monday and intervene in the markets, either verbally or directly. The answer emerged overnight, when China officially urged controlling investors in listed companies to boost their holdings and told some mutual funds to limit equity selling this week, Bloomberg reported,  citing sources.

The directive from the Chinese Plunge Protection Team was sent out over the weekend, when the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and other regulators “advised and encouraged” some major stockholders to purchase more shares in the mainland-listed firms they invest in. The regulators also called on some mutual funds to avoid being net sellers of equities as well.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Friday that it has issued warnings and limited intraday trading to prevent large equity sales that affected the market’s stability. Meanwhile, the China Securities Investment Services Center — a body serving smaller investors that’s managed by the CSRC — said major shareholders can boost investor confidence by purchasing stocks, Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday.

Additionally, the CSRC, which is also known as the “National Team” once it begins manipulating markets, told Chinese brokerages to provide trading summaries from last week to the regulator as well as trading plans and previews for this week.

To some, the intervention was only a matter of time: Chinese shares on the mainland plunged the most in two years amid last week’s global market turbulence, fueling speculation the government would step in to calm trading, as it did repeatedly during past selloffs in 2005 and 2006 as well as ahead of the 2007 Party Congress.

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