Beijing has cleared six more firms for initial public offerings (IPOs), three days after approving the first batch of five companies to list after a 15-month hiatus. The 11 firms are together expected to net a combined 21.4 billion yuan (HK$27.13 billion) from the mainland market. The flood of IPOs is a reflection of the regulator's efforts to meet mainland companies' pent-up financing demand that has been building since Beijing suspended new share offerings in October 2012. Analysts believe IPO proceeds on the mainland are likely to hit 250 billion yuan this year. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, about 260 companies, most of them small firms, would tap the market on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and nearly 40 companies would launch new share offerings on the Shanghai Stock Exchange following the resumption of IPOs. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) had halted initial public offerings in 2012 to bolster investor confidence by arresting a cash drain from existing stocks. But the Shanghai Composite Index still lost 6.75 per cent last year. Among the six new companies receiving the CSRC go-ahead, Shaanxi Coal, whose IPO has been delayed for more than two years, plans to raise 17.2 billion yuan on the Shanghai exchange. The mainland was the world's largest IPO market in 2010 and 2011, when investors complained the CSRC was not doing enough to support a beleaguered market. Suspending IPOs, the regulator had said it was aimed at reforming an ailing listing mechanism to better protect retail investors. Offer prices in the past would often be set sky-high, meaning retail investors would be left high and dry when the stocks plunged on debut. Under the proposed reform, the regulator would start a disclosure-based IPO system, requiring listing applicants to publish detailed information about their earnings and operations and letting investors decide their worth. But analysts believe the new mechanism might not be enough to safeguard investors' interests. A flurry of IPOs may not also bode well for A-share investors. The key Shanghai benchmark is already the world's worst-performing index since 2010. The Shanghai Stock Exchange said in a statement yesterday that it would ensure transparency and fairness in share trading this year, in an apparent effort to pep up a struggling market. "We can't predict the performance of the market," the exchange said. "But we believe the efforts to protect investors' interests would benefit the Shanghai market as people regain confidence." The index slipped 0.3 per cent to 2,109.31 yesterday. "More IPOs can only further dampen investors' buying interest," said West China Securities analyst Wei Wei.