The Chinese Stock Meltdown That Makes the Greece Saga Look Trivial | Singapore Informer

© Provided by Bloomberg

(Bloomberg Business) — By any standard, the selloff in Chinese stocks over the past month has been epic.

Here’s a look at the turmoil by numbers.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has lost 28 percent since its peak on June 12, the worst selloff in two decades. About $3.9 trillion in market valuation has evaporated, more than the total annual output of Germany—the world’s fourth- largest economy—and 16 times Greece’s gross domestic product. The benchmark is still up 82 percent in the past year, the most among the world’s major markets.

As shares tumbled, companies rushed to apply for trading suspension. More than 1,400 companies stopped trading on mainland exchanges, locking sellers out of 50 percent of the market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission also banned major shareholders, corporate executives, and directors from selling stakes in listed companies for six months.

Chinese stocks have become the most volatile among major markets after Greece. A measure of 30-day price swings on the Shanghai benchmark reached 56, the highest since 2008. The volatility is more than five times that of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

Investors who borrow money from brokerages have amplified the boom-and-bust. A fivefold surge in margin debt had helped propel the Shanghai index up more than 150 percent in the 12 months through June 12. On the way down, leveraged investors unwound their holdings to repay the loans, amplifying the crash. While margin debt on the exchanges has declined by 823 billion yuan…

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