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China venture exchange gets 108 IPO applications
Updated: 2009-07-27 15:39

BEIJING: China's planned small-company stock exchange received 108 applications for initial public offerings on its first day of accepting proposals as its launch nears, news reports said Monday.

The Growth Enterprise Board planned for the southern financial center of Shenzhen is meant to nurture smaller, innovative companies. The government has not said when trading will start but analysts expect the first IPO in October or November.

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The board began taking applications on Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said regulators would need three months to review each application.

Authorities have promised for several years to create an exchange to help smaller and private companies that struggle to raise money in a system where state-owned banks lend mostly to big state-owned companies.

The launch comes at a time when Chinese markets are recovering from a sharp decline last year. The benchmark index has risen 80 percent this year amid government stimulus spending to counter the global downturn.

"The regulator might have considered the active market trading and the pace of economic recovery in deciding the timing," said Zhang Linchang, a strategist for Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai.

Analysts say creation of the new board shows Beijing's eagerness to help ease a financing squeeze that hit small and midsize Chinese companies due to the global economic crisis.

The market regulator announced earlier the new board would debut on May 1 but that date passed without a launch.