The mainland's securities regulator has slowed the review procedure for initial public offerings following a fund-raising spree on the A-share market - an apparent move to avoid an influx of fresh equity amid a downturn. The China Securities Regulatory Commission will hear only one IPO application this week, from Great Wall Motor, according to the review committee's announcement. This will be a rare situation since the regulator reopened the IPO market in July 2009 after a 10-month hiatus. Normally the committee will review about eight IPOs a week. A total of 17 IPO applications were reviewed last week, including a large-size offering by state-owned dam builder Sinohydro Group which plans to raise 17.3 billion yuan (HK$20.94 billion) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the mainland's largest this year. The regulator was not available for comment yesterday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.5 per cent last week before it dropped another 0.9 per cent in the first three trading days this week. The indicator closed at 2,678.49 yesterday, 4.6 per cent off last year's close. The bearish mode had prompted the regulator to control the pace of IPOs in order to stabilise the market, analysts said. The regulator has in the past suspended or slowed IPO approvals amid market downturns to bolster investor confidence while accelerating review procedures to drain liquidity out of existing stocks when the key indicator surges. An IPO applicant has to receive two separate green lights before they officially start floating shares. After negotiating a review by the commission, the applicant has to wait until the regulator gives the go-ahead to start price consultations. The regulator let nine companies launch IPOs this week to gauge investors' appetite for new stocks. On Monday, three firms including Founder Securities attracted a combined subscription of 273.6 billion yuan. 'The IPOs did dilute the prices of the listed stocks,' said Wei Wei, a West China Securities trader. 'The efforts to curb new IPOs now reflect the regulator's worries about a further downturn.'