I thought about this for quite a while, debating whether I should joined the party in Shanghai. Finanlly I decided to pull the trigger. I went to China Merchant Bank (招商银行), and opened my stock trading account there (the securities department of CMB). The procedure is very much like that in US. I filled out a bunch of forms, including the acknowledgment of risk, showed my IDs, paid 90 Yuan for the card. I am still waiting for the final approval before I can buy stocks.
(Update 14Mar 4PM Shanghai time) I heard from my broker that I already have securities account (I bought and sold stocks in Shanghai in 1995/97). Because I could not find the old account No. I need to go to 中登公司 to get it straight.
There are a few people (younger than me) opening account at the same time. The market here seems more optimistic than the mood in the US. I can think of one reason. Many people have the cash, but there are not many investment vechicles in China. Bank deposite rate is low; and the housing price is still high after the big rise in recent years, many people simply want to wait for the drop. The supply of stocks could increase significantly as many “Red Chips”, Chinese companies issued H shares in Hongkong, are ready to “Haigui”. In another word, they are following China Life’s (NYSE: LFC) route.
I do have some ideas about what I am going to buy. That’s the main reason I opened the account, not the party 🙂