Alternative market welcomed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 12:00am

A second board in Shenzhen would provide a channel for technology companies in China to raise capital for expansion, according to Nasdaq International president John Wall.

Speaking after the second China Hi-Tech Forum in Shenzhen, Mr Wall said he supported the mainland's move to set up a second market to attract funds.

The second board, which is expected to start operating by the end of this year, will focus on high-technology firms and small to medium-sized enterprises.

Commenting on the slumping Nasdaq market, Mr Wall said investor sentiment was dampened by the decline in share prices.

Some listing candidates might postpone flotation plans or trim proposed fund-raising volumes in light of weakened buying interest.

In the first six months, Nasdaq saw 221 initial public offerings (IPOs) compared with 169 listings in the same period a year ago.

Mr Wall said investors had become more cautious about new listings, especially by non-US companies, on Nasdaq.

That would increase obstacles for non-US companies planning IPOs.

In July this year, 71 new listings were non-US companies compared with 53 for all of last year.

Despite the recent fall in share prices, Mr Wall said Nasdaq performance remained better than that of a year ago.

At the time, the Nasdaq Composite Index was at about 2,500 points, while it closed on Thursday at 3,074.68.

He said Nasdaq continued to be the largest market of its kind in the world.

Mr Wall said technology development's future remained very good regardless of the fall in market prices.

The tremendous growth would be in the wireless technology area.