Business / Policy Watch

Registration-based IPOs likely to be rolled out this year

By Xie Yu and Li Xiang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-07 07:24

Necessary amendments to Securities Law are being worked out, says Shanghai bourse official

Registration-based IPOs likely to be rolled out this year

Shareholders keep an eye on the stock market at a brokerage in Nantong, Jiangsu province on March 6, 2015. The registration-based system for initial public offerings is likely to be implemented this year.[Xu Congjun/China Daily]

The registration-based system for initial public offerings, a key driver of the nation's capital market reform, is likely to be implemented this year and the Shanghai Stock Exchange is getting ready to handle the responsibility, the bourse's Chairman Gui Minjie said on Friday in Beijing.

Gui, also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the reform will be achieved after the National People's Congress amends the Securities Law. Expectations are that the process would be completed this year, he said.

Wu Xiaoling, deputy director of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the Standing Committee of China's top legislative body-the National People's Congress-said on Thursday that the NPC will undertake the first review of the Securities Law in April. The second and third reviews are expected to be completed by October.

Gui said the bourse has been making preparations to take over the responsibility of vetting and registering IPO applications after the NPC completes the amendments.

Unlike the current approval-based IPO system, the registration-based plan emphasizes more on information disclosure rather than financial performance requirements.

Under the current rules, which have been used for 13 years, mainland A-share listing applicants should go through multiple rounds of reviews lasting as long as several years to get approval from the securities regulator.

Requirements include an annual net profit of more than 30 million yuan ($4.8 million) for three successive years before listing. In addition, the proposed IPO price has to be in line with other stocks in the same industry sector, irrespective of the applicant's performance.

Premier Li Keqiang has been urging the regulators including the China Securities Regulatory Commission to accelerate the reform, and effectively lower the threshold for small and medium-sized companies to raise money from the stock market, and scrap the requirement of continued profitability for IPOs.

Analysts said the move emphasizes the role of the market in China's capital market, rather than government's administrative interference, and will have positive influence over the economy in the long run.

On Friday, the CSRC said it is studying the possibility of issuing securities and futures business licenses to commercial banks with built-in risk isolation system. But no timetable has been drawn up yet, CSRC spokesman Zhang Xiaojun said at a news conference.

Earlier reports said that several commercial lenders may get the nod for investment banking business.

Meanwhile, Zhang said that no transaction of stocks shorting by overseas investors has taken place under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect as of Thursday. The short selling arrangement under the stock trading link was launched on Monday.

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