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Resumption of IPOs in Shenzhen expected
( 2003-09-24 09:33) (China Daily )

Initial public offerings (IPOs) and new share issues in the Shenzhen bourse may resume next month, according to a senior official of the Shenzhen municipal government.

"We hope there will be good news about the resumption of IPOs in Shenzhen Stock Exchange during the fifth China Hi-tech Fair next month," Tang Jie, secretary-general of the Shenzhen municipal government, said at the press conference giving details of the fair yesterday in Hong Kong.

The central government stopped new share issues in the Shenzhen bourse in September 2000 to prepare for the launch of a second-board market for hi-tech start-ups and small-and-medium enterprises similar to the NASDAQ of the United States.

As a result, Shanghai Stock Exchange was given the monopoly for all IPOs in the domestic A-share market.

While awaiting the introduction of the second-board, Shenzhen, which also aims to become one of the premier finance centres in China, suffered big losses as a growing number of domestic private firms started seeking listing either in Shanghai or overseas.

Recent market speculation has it that the central government would announce the resumption of IPO activities in Shenzhen during the annual China Hi-tech Fair, which is scheduled to hold during October 12-17 in the city.

Tang said the city government and the securities watchdog have achieved significant progress towards introducing the second-board market.

"We certainly hope that the news will be announced during the fair. But whether it is the case is ultimately up to the central government," said Tang.

Separately, Tang said the fifth China Hi-tech Fair had attracted companies from 34 domestic provinces and cities and 18 countries and regions as well as 27 renowned universities.

The fair will feature high-tech products, CEO forums as well as seminars on the Mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and financing for high-tech companies.

To prevent a recurrence of SARS in the autumn, the fair's committee has made considerable efforts to enhance hygiene, introduced anti-SARS working guidelines and purchased SARS insurance for participants.

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