Defying tempered economic expansion, China's stock market ended 2014 on a strong note, fuelling investors' hopes of another bumper year.
Chinese shares started the first trading day of 2015 in positive territory, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index opening 0.74 percent higher at 3,258.63 points, and the smaller Shenzhen Component Index opening at 11,150.98 points, up 1.24 percent.
Following are the opinions of thinktanks and institutions on what 2015 may have in store: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: A Slow Bull
"There is a relatively big likelihood of a slow bull run in the securities market in 2015, and currently we are on the cusp of this", said the academy.
The academy based its prediction on three aspects: Lower interest rates that will make risky assets more attractive, capital flow from the cooling housing sector to new investment channels, and a clearer outlook on global recovery. China International Capital Corp. (CICC) Strategy Research: Reform as the Major Driving Force
The CICC believes China's ongoing comprehensive reform measures will be the core support for the stock market in 2015, citing changes to delisting rules and listing procedures.
Despite the likelihood of some short-term volatilities, the company remains optimistic of the market in 2015, forecasting a 20 percent annual gain on the A-share market. CITIC Securities: Rare Historic Opportunity
Ample liquidity, the internationalization of the capital market and reform will collectively push up the stock market in 2015, said CITIC Securities.
Amid China's "new normal" era, which is marked by slower growth, improving growth quality and restructuring will present a "rare historic opportunity" that will significantly change the stock market, the firm noted. China Fortune Securities: Greater Volatilities
Investment director of China Fortune Securities Qiu Yanying believes the market behavior at the end of 2014 was mostly driven by highly speculative financial leverage.
"Price bubbles inflated quickly during the bull run [...] the high price and leveraging may trigger greater and stronger volatilities, which in turn [have the potential to] heighten risks," he said.
Minsheng Securities: Irrational Exuberance Drags Down Potential
In the short-term, the biggest risks in the stock market stem from pressures from policymakers, as the economic slowdown and inflating asset bubbles constrain further monetary easing measures, Minsheng Securities said. The company added that last year's "irrational exuberance had used up the market's upward potential".
From a medium-term prospective, the biggest risk is the likelihood that rising demand in real economy and higher asset prices may raise the financing cost, which in turn will change people's investment habits.