New funds targeting China's Nasdaq-style tech board in hot demand

April 30, 2019 Shanghai

China’s first batch of mutual funds targeting Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style technology board have sold out quickly, reflecting keen investor interest in the sector and also raising concerns about price bubbles on the new board set to launch as early as June.

Seven fund houses, including E Fund Management Co, Harvest Fund Management and China Universal Asset Management each aimed to raise up to 1 billion yuan ($148.4 million) in their newly-launched tech-focused funds, and all hit their fundraising target on the first day of sales.

Shanghai’s Science & Technology Innovation board will give investors exposure to firms in the country’s “strategic sectors” such as semiconductors, biotech, artificial intelligence and high-end manufacturing.

E Fund said its new fund, which launched on Friday, was roughly 10 times oversubscribed. On Tuesday, six other tech funds stopped taking fresh subscriptions following Monday’s launch, citing oversubscription.

The seven funds attracted investor subscriptions totaling 100 billion yuan, official media reported.

Roughly 80 tech-focused funds are now in the queue awaiting regulatory approval, as fund managers seek to capitalize on investor enthusiasm.

Yang Hongxun, Shanghai-based analyst at investment consultancy Shandong Shenguang, said the hot reception of the new tech funds foreshadows frothy prices.

“You will likely see pumps and dumps on the new tech board,” Yang said, adding he’s also worried about the quality of the companies to be listed there.

There will be no limits on how much a stock can rise or fall during the first five days of trading on the new board, after which shares are subject to a trading limit of 20 percent on each side, compared with 10 percent under current trading rules.

Scrapping price limits during the first few days of trading will be good for the market, said Yuan Yuwei, a Shanghai-based hedge fund manager. “Without the limits, bulls and bears can have their duels free from interference.”