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Weekly Watch> WEEKLY WATCH NO. 36, 2010> ECONOMY
UPDATED: September 3, 2010 NO. 36 SEPTEMBER 9, 2010
ChiNext Pains

For ChiNext, China's NASDAQ-style growth enterprise board, growth should not be taken for granted.

According to financial data provider Shanghai Wind Information Co. Ltd., 93 of the 109 firms listed on ChiNext raked in a combined profit of 2.67 billion yuan ($392.6 million) in the first half of this year, growing 26 percent from one year earlier. But half of those profits came from bank interest on funds from their initial public offerings.

In addition, the profit growth was also much slower than the average growth rate on other markets. The 373 companies listed on the Shenzhen Small and Medium Enterprise Board earned a total of 22 billion yuan ($3.2 billion), surging 42 percent year on year. On the main board of the Shenzhen market, 973 companies have logged a combined 334.8 billion yuan ($49.2 billion) in profit, up 42 percent.

China launched the ChiNext index in October 2009 in an effort to provide financing to technology and innovation-driven startup companies. But the slower-than-expected profit growth has raised suspicions about the prospects of the companies.

Chances are some companies window-dressed their profitability to get listed on the ChiNext, said Zhang Kai, a senior analyst at the China Securities Co. Ltd.

If such tepid performance continues, the much-coveted companies might lose some investor interests, said Zhang.

Wang Caihong, an analyst at the Guosen Securities Co. Ltd., warned investors against the ChiNext fever. The small companies in emerging industries are more vulnerable to market risks, said Wang.

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