Refunds for initial public offerings may come electronically or with an ID number on the refund cheque as part of efforts to prevent theft. The proposed measures - which came out of yesterday's meeting of the Commercial Crime Bureau, the Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Federation of Share Registrars - come after nearly $1 million in refund cheques were stolen from investors. Five people were arrested this week for allegedly stealing cheques from eight investors who unsuccessfully applied for shares in three recent IPOs - China Life Insurance, Great Wall Automobile Holding and Fujian Zijin Mining Industry. A regulatory source said depositing refunds directly to bank accounts via electronic means would help prevent theft. Another proposed measure is to add the ID number of the investor to cheques which are delivered by mail to help identify the cheque's real owner. The SFC confirmed yesterday a meeting had been held between the four parties. The SFC said investors should report to their share registrar if they have not received an IPO refund cheque or share certificates within three working days of the dispatch date listed within the prospectus.