Listed Chinese firms report good momentum in Jan-Feb, pinning hopes on economic recovery, improved business environment
Pin growth hopes on economic recovery, better business environment
Published: Mar 14, 2023 10:08 PM
Residents are seen at a shopping mall in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province, on January 23, 2023 during the Spring Festival holidays. Photo: VCG

Residents are seen at a shopping mall in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province, on January 23, 2023 during the Spring Festival holidays. Photo: VCG

A stream of Chinese listed firms in the A-share market have reported growing momentum in the first two months of the year, kicking off a good start to the full year, as hopes that the country's economy will steadily rebound and the business environment will continue to improve are strengthening in the market.

This is shown in filings by 26 companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange that announced their operating conditions from January to February on Monday.

They cover such sectors as telecommunications, electrical equipment, food and beverages, commercial chains and other industries.

In a filing sent to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Wangfujing Group, the parent company of one of China's largest department store chains, said that sales in the first two months increased by nearly 13 percent on a yearly basis.

The company's department stores, outlets and shopping centers all witnessed year-on-year business growth along with the recovery of consumption following China's optimized measures on COVID-19.

Driven by consumption related to new lifestyles, its outlets and shopping malls showed a relatively obvious recovery. Sales of outlets grew by 26 percent year-on-year, and those of shopping malls rose by nearly 10 percent year-on-year, the company said.

Wine company Jiangsu King's Luck Brewery said in a filing that it achieved unaudited revenues of around 3.1 billion yuan ($450 million) in the first two months, up 27 percent year-on-year, while profits rose 25 percent.

"This year's Spring Festival came in late January, which is earlier than most years. The consumption enthusiasm in core scenic spots and core business districts returned to the pre-epidemic level," the Jiangsu-based firm said.

State-owned mobile operator China Telecom said its operating and development momentum was good in the January-February period, and it will continue to march into a service-, technology- and security-oriented enterprise.

"As the domestic consumer market is gradually recovering, various economic activities become increasingly active at the beginning of the year. These positive outlooks were reflected in the performance of listed companies," said Pan Helin, joint director of the Research Center for Digital Economics and Financial Innovation affiliated with Zhejiang University's International Business School.

Thanks to policies to promote the economy and expand domestic demand, those businesses have seized the opportunity of the economic recovery through investment and consumption, Pan told the Global Times on Tuesday.

China will release several economic figures from January to February on Wednesday, including retail sales. Experts generally forecast that a consumption rebound will be one of the highlights among the figures. A year-on-year increase can be expected, reversing the decline of 1.8 percent in December last year.

A structural bull market in the A-share market has begun to take shape, and it will continue to pick up momentum as global investors have a positive outlook on China's economic growth and confidence in the country's economic fundamentals with the improved business environment, according to Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management Co.

At Monday's press conference, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said that the government will step up efforts to foster a business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized, treat companies of all types of ownership as equals, and protect the property rights of enterprises as well as the rights and interests of entrepreneurs in accordance with the law.

"Although the A-share market has faced turmoil this month, northbound capital still maintains a buying posture, showing that global asset management institutions are doubling down on the Chinese economy and Chinese assets," Yang told the Global Times on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday's close, northbound funds had a substantial net purchase level of 153.3 billion yuan since the start of this year, far exceeding the 90.02 billion yuan for the whole of last year, according to financial data provider Wind.

The recent fluctuations in the A-share market will be temporary, and the improvement of corporate earnings is expected to replace undervaluation and become the main driving force for the next stage of the market's rebound, according to a research note by Fidelity International. 

Unlike other regions, Chinese companies are benefiting from a host of favorable factors, including ample credit supply and historically low mortgage rates.