China's richest man says stock markets "suck"

China Featured - March 6th, 2013
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China’s richest man has hit out at his country’s stock market and its lack of benefits.

“The capital markets suck in China,” Zong Qinghou said on the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary session on Tuesday.

Mr. Zong, who amassed a fortune of $12.6 billion through his privately listed beverage empire, Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co, is one of an increasing number of wealthy entrepreneurs among the National People’s Congress delegates.

“When the ordinary people invest in it, the market should reward them with some benefits. But it does not,” Mr. Zong said.

“The speculation has totally cheated ordinary investors of any benefits,” he added, taking aim at speculators he says ruin the stock market for others.

Mr. Zong made clear he didn’t gain his wealth, which boosted him up China’s wealth ladder, through the country’s stock market. Mr. Zong is now looking to invest in high-tech projects, such as bioengineering and energy-saving electrical appliances, rather than in the stock market.

China’s stock markets have lagged and remained sluggish, plagued by too many offerings and a slowing Chinese economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese government has made efforts to restore confidence by tackling so-called insider trading. China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing also raised the idea of bringing China’s model closer to that of the West, reducing the role the state plays in approving initial public offerings and shifting more power to auditors and investment banks, WSJ reports. But little has changed in that direction.