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STAR Market aspirants get helping hand from Yangtze River service base

By SHI JING in Shanghai | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-06-30 09:47
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The Yangtze River Delta Capital Market Service Base in Pudong New Area, Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

For iRay Technology, the continuous help it received from Shanghai-based Yangtze River Delta Capital Market Service Base has paved the way for its debut on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market.

Founded in 2011, iRay specializes in the development and production of key X-ray system components used in medical, dental, veterinary and industrial imaging applications.

In the fiscal year ended Dec 31,2020, iRay saw its sales revenue rise 43.58 percent year-on-year to top 784 million yuan ($122 million). Its net income spiked 130.54 percent to around 222 million yuan. With products available in more than 70 countries, iRay has seen over 50,000 units installed so far.

The company started listing preparations in 2017 and reached out to the service base in September 2019, which was two months after the technology-focused STAR Market started trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Qiu Min, board secretary of iRay, said the service base efficiently linked the company with the Shanghai Stock Exchange by setting up an effective communication mechanism. It has also managed to provide one-stop guidance to companies willing and able to go public.

"By keeping in touch with the base, we are able to convert our knowledge on listing and financing into action. A complete listing service chain has been set up by the base, as it manages to break the entire listing process into different targets to meet at each stage," Qiu said.

The story of iRay is just one snapshot of all the help that the service base has rendered. In November 2018, the local government of Pudong New Area teamed up with the Shanghai bourse to set up the Yangtze River Delta Capital Market Service Base. The mission of the base has been made clear from day one-to help more technology companies float shares on the STAR Market.

To date, 29 cities in the Yangtze River Delta region have become members of the service base. The service base has also built a capital market service ecosystem by connecting 126 leading commercial banks, securities firms, intermediaries and equity investment firms such as IDG, Hillhouse Group and Warburg Pincus.

As of June 7, a total of 135 technology companies located in the Yangtze River Delta region had listed on the STAR Market, accounting for 48 percent of the country's total.

These companies managed to raise 203.8 billion yuan via initial public offerings, accounting for 56 percent of the nation's total. The total market cap of these companies rose to 2.1 trillion yuan as of early June, which was equal to half of the total market cap of all the STAR Market-listed companies.

Zhang Hui, deputy director of the Pudong Financial Bureau, said that the base has built the first phase information management and services system by incorporating big data and artificial intelligence.

With arms wide open to all eligible companies in the Yangtze River Delta region, the service base has so far attracted 5,017 companies in the area, all of which are in the pipeline for listing on the STAR Market. So far, 120 companies have received recommendations from the base to seek IPOs on the STAR Market.

"By combining results from intelligent algorithm models and opinions solicited from the Shanghai bourse and industry experts, we are able to draw precise profile pictures for companies and come up with scores for each of them. Companies scoring above 80 will be recommended to apply for STAR listings. It is like a prep school for companies eyeing the technology board," Zhang said.

It is not just companies that need guidance. The Shanghai bourse also needs help from the local government to discover eligible candidates and nurture companies, said Gu Bin, assistant director of the offering and listing center at the Shanghai exchange.

"The operating model at the service base has not only improved government efficiency, but also granted the government and the Shanghai exchange's services to technology companies in a real sense," Gu said.

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