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Securities regulator to foster innovation with revised IPO rules

Li Xiang/Zhou Lanxu
Updated: Feb 2,2018 9:32 AM     China Daily

China’s securities regulator has pledged to reform rules covering initial public offerings to foster the development of innovative and technological companies, and to better serve the country’s economic growth.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said it will make the existing IPO rules more inclusive and supportive of companies with new technologies or new business models. The CSRC made the comments in a statement released on Jan 31 after holding its annual work conference this week.

The decision to reform the listing rules for the Chinese mainland’s stock markets come after other stock exchanges-including the Hong Kong and Singapore bourses-stepped up efforts to attract innovative companies by allowing dual-class share structures.

Such structures typically grant a particular group of shareholders greater voting rights than others, departing from the “one share, one vote” principle currently adopted in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is expected to begin accepting IPO applications under dual-class share structures by the end of June, according to Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, its parent company.

The Singapore Exchange will also allow listings of dual-class shares structures this year, according to Loh Boon Chye, the bourse’s chief executive.

Li Shuguang, law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said that the regulators should also make breakthroughs in the current IPO approval system and push the amendment of the Securities Law.

“The reform of listing rules is a major concern among market participants, and it is also a major prerequisite to improving the regulatory system. I expect that breakthroughs of the listing rules reform will take place after the annual legislative meeting in March,” he said.

Besides implementing reforms to facilitate new economy companies, the CSRC also vowed at its annual work conference to prevent and resolve major financial risks, accelerate the development of multilayer capital markets, and to expand the market’s ability to support the country’s economic transition with high-quality growth.