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Companies pull out before strict IPO audit deadline

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-01 17:12

BEIJING - A record number of Chinese companies lining up for initial public offerings terminated their applications in the latest round of IPO investigations that require financial reports be filed to the top securities regulator before March 31.

A total of 76 applicants abolished their IPO plans between March 25 and 29, compared with a record of 48 that withdrew applications in about three months since January, Monday's China Securities Journal reported, citing the latest data from China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

On Jan 8, the CSRC announced that the sponsor institutions of all pending IPO applicants should investigate the financial status of applicants and file reports to the commission before March 31. After the reports were filed, the CSRC would then conduct selective checks on the firms.

According to the report, about 80 percent of applicants that have withdrawn their applications had planned to list on the growth enterprise market, a stock market designed to help high-potential start-ups expand.

Most withdrawing applicants are from the machinery manufacturing, solar, software and chemical industries. Analysts said this may have resulted from the sectors' poor performances last year.

Sponsor institutions also took a blow from aborted IPO projects, as they had invested a considerable amount of resources and manpower. Guosen Securities and China Securities Co, two large-scale securities firms, have both had 11 IPO applications canceled, according to the Chinese economic database Wind Info.

The CSRC has issued few IPO approvals since June and it suspended IPO approvals since late October, moves that many believed were aimed at stabilizing China's stock market.

However, nearly 900 companies on both the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses were awaiting IPO approval as of February, according to CSRC figures.

Analysts said the number of pending IPO applicants will fall substantially in the short-term, as some applicants that have failed to submit reports will be forced to terminate their applications and more companies will pull out during the upcoming official checks.

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