Business / Markets

IPO guidance spurs stock speculation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-08 17:10

SHANGHAI -- Chinese regulators' IPO guidance sparked stock speculation as the market saw shares of 10 new listings in the last two weeks double or triple within one week of their debut.

The Chinese securities regulator ended a 14-month IPO freeze in January, promising market-based reforms to revive one of the world's worst-performing stock markets.

Yet in the latest round of IPOs, the new listings again became a feast of rampant speculation by investors who prefer taking a quick profit rather than making a value investment.

Among the newly listed, Shandong Longda Meat Foodstuff Co Ltd, was suspended from trading on Monday after its shares rose an accumulated 20 percent during three consecutive trading days. It resumed trading on Tuesday and hit the upper limit once again in early morning trade.

Analysts say the straight rise came as a result of window guidance by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CRSC), the country's top securities regulator.

Prior to their IPOs, the CRSC urged the 10 companies to refrain from over-pricing, over-raising capital, and selling shares currently held by existing stakeholders.

Such guidance, seen by stock underwriters and institutional investors as de-facto interference, suppressed the offering prices of these stocks.

Most of the new listings opened at a price no more than 20 times their 2013 earnings, which is below the average price-to-earning ratios in their respective sectors, suggesting cheaper valuation than their peers.

Besides cheap valuation, institutional investors argued such interference disrupted a relatively market-based price discovery process during off-line share allocation. Institutional investors pitch what they think a soon-to-be public company is worth and the offering price is based on these quotes.

With this administrative limit in place, institutional investors who have participated in these off-line allocations said figuring out the price has become simple math: divide the amount of capital a company wants to raise by the number of shares to be issued and you'll get the offering price.

IPO guidance spurs stock speculation IPO guidance spurs stock speculation
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