(Yicai Global) Nov. 15 -- Domestic brokerage firms will host annual conferences on market strategies as the year's end nears and, in a departure from the free admission policy of previous years, many will now start to charge admission fees.
Investors attending will now have to shell out hard cash for the securities companies' outlook on next year's trends.
Huachuang Securities, which is based in Guiyang, capital of southwestern Guizhou province, will hold its market strategy conference on Nov. 27. Tickets for the conference range from the 'basic' CNY3,888 (USD560) to the 'deluxe' CNY6,888 to supply different audiences' needs.
SWS Research in Shanghai is inviting only specially selected clients to its conference gratis; other attendees must pay the CNY6,000 entrance fee.
The policy finds both supporters and detractors. Negative comments go, 'It's absurd to pay thousands of yuan for some researchers' utter blarney,' while those who see the cup as half-full say, e.g. 'The expense is much lower than that of doing your own research, and managers or executives are willing to talk with you at the conference.'
"High-quality research services should not be free. I am dubious as to the overall quality of the market strategy meetings held by these securities institutions, however, and so did not attend before and certainly will not now that they have adopted admission fees," a secondary market researcher at a private equity institution told Yicai Global.
New Fortune magazine will not continue its 'best brokerage firm' and 'best analyst' awards this year, so securities research institutions and analysts are not concerned about chasing 'fame,' and thus need not satisfy the demands of small and medium institutional investors that vote in such selections, a strategy analyst at a large Shanghai-based securities research organization told Yicai Global.
Charging for entry can thus pare the number of attendees and save on labor and material costs, and this is the grounds for adoption of the policy, the analyst added.
The number of attendees at this source's own securities company's conference this year will fall sharply as its core clientele only ranges from 80 to 100 companies.
From clients' perspective, strategy conferences have no very important and private information to disclose if they are freely open to everyone. Meetings that send targeted invitations convey more valuable information unsuited for public release, and clients take a more active part, a bond analyst who once worked at the fixed income department of the research institute in Huachuang Securities, told Yicai Global.
It is a general trend and more securities companies will adopt the policy of admission fees in future, while some still choose to hold strategy conferences free of charge, since these pay more attention to their influence in the market, said most insiders Yicai Global interviewed.
Editor: Ben Armour