Business / Markets

Smoother journey expected for China's capital market despite rocky start

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-05 17:18

BEIJING - The stock market plunges on Monday and Tuesday morning might have marked a rocky start for China's capital market. Jitters aside, the capital market is expected to experience an eventful year and a smoother journey thanks to a series of reforms.

The most fundamental change will be the initial public offering mechanism. New stock offerings on the domestic market will see less bureaucratic meddling as registration-based rules replace the approval-based listing process.

New listings will gradually increase and more companies will be able to access fundraising through the stock market under more flexible listing requirements.

In addition, a "strategic emerging industry board" will be launched this year to better serve domestic high-growth and innovative enterprises, as the existing NASDAQ-style ChiNext cannot satisfy the growing financing needs of emerging companies.

Thanks to the reform measures and the potential new board, the number of new IPOs on the Chinese A-share market is forecast to hit 400, raising 250 billion yuan ($38.44 billion) to 300 billion yuan, making the Chinese mainland one of the three largest IPO markets and potentially the number one globally in 2016, according to a report released by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

China is also mulling a stock connect scheme between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong bourses this year. The scheme will allow investors to trade on both bourses within a set quota, and it is lauded by many as a step toward a more open capital market.

In addition to market mechanism improvements, measures will also target market players.

The authorities are determined to rid the market of "zombie" enterprises, those with poor profitability, according to the People's Daily on Monday.

According to financial information provider Wind, over 260 listed companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses reported negative adjusted earning per share for over the last three years, posting average debt-to-asset ratio of over 68 percent.8 "These zombie enterprises are to blame for the potential systemic risks of the Chinese capital market. The elimination of these bad performers will help improve the capital price structure," said Xu Weihong, chief economist with AVIC Securities.

In addition, China is expected to punish listed companies found guilty of malpractice by disclosing their cases and restricting their bond insurance, participation in government purchase and other qualifications.

"China's stock markets will undergo thorough surgery with the punishment mechanism to remove malpractice, this will ensure a healthy environment," said Lin Yixiang, deputy head of Securities Association of China.

"After a storm comes a calm. We can expect a smoother journey for the Chinese capital market with improving market mechanisms, well-behaved listed firms and institutional investors, and more instructions for random investors," Lin added.

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