Business / Markets

Exchange proves prime route to main market

By Cai Xiao (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-10 10:44

China's over-the-counter market, or the New Third Board, has helped small and medium-sized enterprises raise 26.47 billion yuan ($4.07 billion) so far this year, the latest figures from the National Equities Exchange and Quotations reveal.

As of Monday, the number of firms on the board had reached 5,906, with average daily trading value at 610 million yuan, and increasing numbers of firms are now adopting the financing platform as a faster way of getting listed on the A-share market, officials said.

Now China's third-biggest equity market, the New Third Board was initiated in 2006 as an experimental platform for small- and medium-sized enterprises to transfer shares.

The present system, known as the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, was officially set up in January 2013, after years of trials in cities including Shanghai, Wuhan and Tianjin.

It complements the existing main board, the SME board and the ChiNext board, and the latest numbers show it is fast being accepted by SMEs as an easier financing channel, with low costs, simple listing procedures, and a short application period for startup firms unqualified to be listed on major exchanges.

There were just 496 companies listed at ChiNext board by Tuesday, but the daily trading value totaling 81.1 billion yuan, the latest figures show.

"Although the New Third Board has been an important financing platform for SMEs, liquidity and exit channels remain challenges for listed companies and investors," said Eric Xin, senior managing director at Citic Capital.

Last week, the securities regulator said the third national equity market will divide its listed companies into two markets-and innovation and a basic market-from May, a move aimed at better meeting the requirements of SMEs, and to improve efficiency, said the CSRC.

Zhejiang Yili Capsule Co Ltd, a capsule producer in Xinchang, Zhejiang province, was listed on the New Third Board in 2015 and is typical of the type and size of company now using the platform.

It plans to hold two or three private placements this year, said Zhu Junwei, its general manager, with the funds raised to be used to upgrade its production lines and on possible mergers and acquisitions.

Yili Capsule has 36 production lines, six of which are considered intelligent and automatic which can each produce about 2.5 million capsules daily.

The firm plans to invest about 42 million yuan upgrading another 14 production lines this year, while its M&A targets, said Zhu, are likely to be capsule companies equipment with the latest production methods.

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