Friday, June 8, 2012
Beijing Dims the Lights on Data for Investors
Beijing has curtailed access to information often used by investors and short sellers to evaluate Chinese companies, which could further cloud an often murky market for foreign investors.
A Chinese government agency that compiles extensive Chinese corporate records has begun to withhold information that includes financial reports, shareholder changes and assets transfers, according to lawyers, investors and research companies. The State Administration of Industry and Commerce declined to say whether it had moved to limit what it once made public, but the Beijing-branch of the agency said some lawyers in the past had abused the availability of data by selling it.
"Last year and the year before, getting SAIC financial documents was basic and easy and a very fundamental part of our research," said Dan David, vice president of GeoInvesting LLC, an investment fund. "Over the last six months they got progressively harder to access."