Business / Policy Watch

China to further promote 'New Third Board'

By Li Xiang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-21 10:31

The financial authorities released more measures on Friday to further promote the development of the Beijing-based National Equities Exchange and Quotations, better known as the "New Third Board".

The new rules include a pilot program that allows NEEQ-listed companies to transfer to the startup-dominated ChiNext board, and the scrapping of a restriction on the number of qualified investors needed when companies seek to offer new shares.

"The purpose is to accelerate the board's development, and boost its function as a financing platform for companies," said Zhang Xiaojun, a China Securities Regulatory Commission spokesman.

To address what have been seen as thin trading volumes and low market liquidity, the new rules also encourage institutional investors such as mutual funds to participate in the market.

The regulator said it was encouraging securities firms to set up subsidiaries to provide listing and trading services in the market.

The board has also been split into two tiers, so different listings and trading requirements can be formulated for different companies.

A much-anticipated open price-bidding process, however, was not included in the new rules, and the regulator also said it had no intention, for the moment, of lowering the minimum capital requirement of 5 million yuan ($783,400) for investors to trade shares of NEEQ-listed companies.

Unlike trading on the country's main stock exchanges, companies listed on the NEEQ system appoint securities firms to act as market makers to "quote" buy or sell share prices.

The NEEQ market has seen explosive growth since launching in 2012, with more than 4,200 companies now listed - that is more than the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges combined.

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