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IPO reforms in ChiNext to start by Sept

By ZHOU LANXU | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-06-23 08:47

Investors check share prices at a securities firm in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Xing Qu / For China Daily]

Shenzhen Stock Exchange accepts fundraising applications from 32 firms

Anticipation remains rife that listings under ChiNext's registration-based reform would debut soon, after the Shenzhen bourse unveiled the first batch of successful listing applications on Monday.

Analysts expect the first batch of new listings under the registration-based system on the innovative startup-heavy board to debut by early September, helping sustain investors' rising appetite for growth stocks.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange has accepted applications from 32 firms to go public on the ChiNext board as of Monday, the bourse said on its website on Monday. The acceptance is seen as a landmark in the ChiNext reform, as it requires the Shenzhen bourse to replace the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the top securities regulator, in accepting and reviewing listing applications.

The CSRC will instead be responsible for the registration of new shares, making initial public offerings more market-oriented.

Liu Wenqiang, an analyst with the Shenzhen-based Great Wall Securities, expects the first group of new listings under ChiNext's registration-based system to debut by Sept 10 at the latest.

"A total of 25-30 firms may debut at once as the first group of listings, by when all ChiNext-listed stocks will adopt the loosened daily price fluctuation limit of 20 percent, versus the 10 percent currently in effect," Liu said.

By the end of the year, ChiNext may enable 70-100 IPOs under the new system, with the aggregate capital raised amounting to 70-100 billion yuan ($9.9-14.1 billion), Liu said.

The exchange should decide and disclose whether to accept the applications within five workdays after receipt, according to relevant regulations.

The Shenzhen exchange started to accept IPO applications that were under CSRC review from June 15, and will start to receive new IPO applications from June 30. Five out of the 32 accepted IPO applications are from companies engaged in software, information technology and internet services, while another 15 are from the manufacturing sector, in line with the nation's resolve to improve capital market functioning in order to drive innovation and industrial upgrade.

Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the CSRC, reiterated this policy stance on Monday. More major semiconductor enterprises will get listed on Shanghai's tech-focused STAR Market next, following the debut of 14 semiconductor firms on the board, Fang said at the Caixin Summer Summit 2020 in Beijing.

Given the country's determination of reforming the capital market and spurring innovation, attested by the ChiNext's registration-based reform, analysts said quality technology firms and growth stocks are expected to lead the market in the medium to long term.

In a shorter perspective, the reform has lifted the risk appetite for ChiNext-listed shares and therefore their valuation level, sending the ChiNext index to a four-year high, said Yin Yue, an analyst with Yuekai Securities.

The ChiNext index rose for the seventh trading session in a row by 1.01 percent to close at 2342.88 points on Monday. The index has gone up by 30 percent since the beginning of the year, versus a 2.78-percent decline in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index over the same period.

Looking ahead, the SCI performance would have a major bearing on the sustainability of ChiNext's uptrend, as a rising SCI could attract more funds into the market and reinforce the upside momentum of ChiNext, said Yin.

On Friday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said it wanted to reconstitute the SCI on July 22, which analysts said will help the index more accurately reflect market performance and therefore move up from the current level.

The reconstitution will mainly include excluding shares under special treatment due to major risks in fundamentals from the index, extending the time it takes for new listings to be added to the index, and incorporating STAR-listed firms into the index, according to the Shanghai exchange.

Jiang Xueqing contributed to this story.

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