GEB set to become hotbed for billionaires
By Ning Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-09-30 08:52

The first 10 companies to be listed on China's NASDAQ-style growth enterprise board (GEB) could turn at least 32 shareholders into billionaires.

Beijing Ultrapower Software Co tops the list with 12 potential billionaires. Currently, they each hold stocks valued at 100 million yuan but the listing is expected to multiply that enormously.

The richest shareholder could be Pu Zhongjie, managing director of Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co, who holds about 60 million of the company's shares. Pu's worth is put at about 1.75 billion yuan after the company's issue price was set at 29 yuan.

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Once the companies get listed, senior executives could become paper billionaires overnight. Some industry experts have warned that the high valuation might not be beneficial for the firms' future and called for cautious investment.

"The GEB now has alarmingly high price-to-earnings (PE) ratios. I am very worried that it would be just a way of raising money for money's sake," said Cao Fengqi, head of the finance and securities research center at Peking University.

Initial public offerings (IPOs) for the GEB sold at higher valuations than stocks listed on the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in Shenzhen.

The PE ratio for the first 10 companies on the GEB was about 52.73 times on average, while it was 37.68 times for the companies listed on the SME board this year.

The Shenzhen bourse said it plans to curb first-day speculative trading on the GEB board by suspending stocks that rise or fall by 80 percent until 2:57 pm local time. China's stock markets close at 3 pm.

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