Thursday, September 18, 2008

China cancels stamp tax on stock buying to boost market confidence

China decided on Thursday to scrap the stamp tax on stock purchase, effective on Friday, in a move to boost the equities market after domestic stocks fell for third consecutive day since Tuesday.

With the authorization of the State Council, China's Cabinet, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation said they decided to cancel the share trading stamp tax on stock purchase while the stamp tax on share selling remained unchanged at 0.1 percent.

The cancellation came several hours after Chinese stocks tumbled 1.72 percent on Thursday, amid the current global financial turmoil.

It was the second time this year the government had adjusted the stock trading stamp tax. On April 24, it cut the tax from 0.3 percent to 0.1 percent amid falling share prices.

The Central Huijin Investment Co., Ltd., an investment arm of the government, said on Thursday it would buy shares of three major Chinese lenders on the secondary market to fortify their share prices amid the stock market slump.

The company said it would buy the shares of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank and the operation had started on Thursday.

The move was to ensure the government's interest in the three lenders, support the steady operation of major state-owned financial institutions and to stabilize their share prices.

"The decision was important for a stable operation of the capital market," said a China Securities Regulatory Commission spokesman.

Central Huijin was set up in 2002 with a mission to reform state-owned banks burdened with a high ratio of non-performing loans.

Source: Xinhua

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