DEFINITION of 'A-Shares'

Shares in mainland China-based companies that trade on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. A-shares are generally only available for purchase by mainland citizens; foreign investment is only allowed through a tightly-regulated structure known as the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) system.


Most companies listed on Chinese exchanges will offer two shares classes: A-shares and B-shares. B-shares are quoted in foreign currencies (such as the U.S. dollar) and are open to both domestic and foreign investment (provided that locals set up a foreign currency account), while A-shares are only quoted in Chinese renminbi.

A-shares experienced explosive growth in the 2005-2007 period as restrictions preventing investment by Chinese citizens slowly began to peel away. In fact, demand was so high for A-shares that they would trade for much higher valuations than what the same stock could be purchased for on a different exchange.

The Peoples' Republic of China is working to blend the two classes of stock together, and eventually allow direct foreign investment in mainland companies. It is one of many major financial reforms that the advanced economies of the world hope will occur in the next several years; there is a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for Chinese equity, provided that regulations become uniform and reporting requirements are in-line with global standards.

  1. Full Delivery Shares

    A rating given to the stock of a company traded on the Taiwan ...
  2. China Concepts Stock

    The stock of a company whose assets or earnings have significant ...
  3. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock ...
  4. H-Shares

    A share of a company incorporated in the Chinese mainland that ...
  5. Red Chip

    A company based in Mainland China that is incorporated internationally ...
  6. B-Shares

    Shares in companies based in mainland China that trade on either ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Investing In China

    Investment opportunity is huge in China. However, investors should consider the pitfalls, understand the risks and rewards, focus on shareholder-friendly companies and stick to investments they ...
  2. Economics

    Long-Term Investing Impact of the Paris Attacks

    We share some insights on how the recent terrorist attacks in Paris could impact the economy and markets going forward.
  3. Stock Analysis

    An Introduction To The Indian Stock Market

    Most trading in the Indian stock market occurs through its two exchanges – the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.
  4. Savings

    How Americans Can Open a Bank Account In Thailand

    Have your paperwork in order and be sure to shop around.
  5. Chart Advisor

    Copper Continues Its Descent

    Copper prices have been under pressure lately and based on these charts it doesn't seem that it will reverse any time soon.
  6. Forex Fundamentals

    How to Buy Chinese Yuan

    Discover the different options that are available to investors who want to obtain exposure to the Chinese yuan, including ETFs and ETNs.
  7. Trading Strategies

    How to Trade In a Flat Market

    Reduce position size by 50% to 75% in a flat market.
  8. Markets

    Will Paris Attacks Undo the European Union Dream?

    Last Friday's attacks in Paris are transforming the migrant crisis into an EU security threat, which could undermine the European Union dream.
  9. Markets

    Are EM Stocks Finally Emerging?

    Many investors are looking at emerging market (EM) stocks and wonder if it’s time to step back in, while others wonder if we’ll see further declines.
  10. Markets

    What Slow Global Growth Means for Portfolios

    While U.S. growth remains relatively resilient, global growth continues to slip.
  1. What are the differences between H-shares and A-shares on Chinese and Hong Kong stock ...

    Publicly trade companies in China generally fall under three share categories: A shares, B shares and H-shares. A-shares ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. I live in the U.S. How can I trade stocks in China and India?

    Foreign markets have always been an object of envy to domestic investors because the indexes in some foreign countries have ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is Malaysia a developed country?

    Despite undergoing rapid economic development over the past five decades, Malaysia is not considered a developed country, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do mutual funds have CUSIP numbers?

    The Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP) number is a standardized identification system used ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Is Mexico an emerging market economy?

    Mexico meets all the criteria of an emerging market economy. The country's gross domestic product, or GDP, per capita beats ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  4. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  5. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  6. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
Trading Center