First 10 listings on second board ahead of schedule

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 12:00am

Mainland investors can start subscribing to initial public offerings in the first 10 firms to be listed on the country's new Nasdaq-style market on Friday, three weeks ahead of schedule, as the regulator fast-tracks the long-awaited second board.

Ten companies, including Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) and Shanghai Bestway Marine Engineering Design, filed statements with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange yesterday announcing they would start selling shares this weekend. They are likely to raise nearly 3 billion yuan (HK$3.41 billion) in aggregate.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission planned to give the go-ahead to the first batch of listings on the second board in mid-October, according to two sources briefed by CSRC officials on the matter.

The CSRC approved the first seven listing applications for the growth market last Thursday and gave the go-ahead to six more the next day.

On the mainland, companies receiving listing approvals cannot start the offering process until the regulator sets the timetable for the sales.

The 10 companies were allowed to conduct their share offerings on the weekend because the regulator was keen to launch the second board as soon as possible.

'The central government is convinced that the growth market should be launched now,' said Dazhong Insurance fund manager Wu Kan.

'The pace was much faster than expected.'

Medical equipment maker Lepu is expected to raise 516 million yuan in the biggest flotation of the 10 start-ups.

The plan to set up a technology-heavy growth market surfaced nearly a decade ago. But the bursting of the dotcom bubble and concerns about market stability deterred officials from launching the fund-raising platform for the country's millions of cash-hungry start-ups.

However, analysts said there were fears that listings by small firms might siphon investor buying interest from existing stocks.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 4.3 points or 0.15 per cent to 2,967.01 yesterday. That is 14.5 per cent off this year's peak of 3,471.44 on August 4.

Starting with a bang

Mainland regulators are fast-tracking the growth market for start-ups

Ten firms will start selling flotation shares this weekend to raise, in yuan: 3b yuan