Chinese media outlets look set to make IPOs

08:15, May 10, 2010      

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Ten Chinese websites are to be listed in the domestic A-share stock market, according to media reports, with Shanghai-based eastday.com hoping to become the first to launch initial public offerings (IPO), analysts said.

They include websites of China's State broadcaster China Central Television, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, Beijing-based qianlong.com, Tianjin-based enorth.com.cn, Shandong-based dzwww.com, Shanghai-based eastday.com and other local online news websites, Shanghai Securities News reported on Sunday, citing an anonymous source.

"The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) are actively pushing the listing of these websites and, at least, one or two websites will make it this year," the source was quoted as saying.

China Daily contacted the CSRC and a spokesperson did not deny the report, but declined to divulge any further details or to comment on the situation,

Xu Yaowen, an analyst with China Galaxy Securities, said that eastday.com has completed share-holding reform and could be the first of the websites to be listed in the A-share market.

"As emerging media outlets, websites will create a breakthrough in the cultural development of China," said Zhang Xiaoming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. With accelerated technological change, the new media are gaining increasing influence, he said.

However, analysts pointed out, as some of them belong to government agencies and are not wholly market oriented, they may not be able to receive listing in the capital market like free-market companies.

Some commentators also oppose government-supported listing of media websites.

Fan Feng, a Beijing-based commentator, said investor interest could be jeopardized, since the performance of these websites is not sound enough to bring the revenue expected by investors.

Commercial portals, such as sina.com and sohu.com, have been listed in the overseas market. "The upshot is that competitive websites will receive listing overseas, while domestic listing is encouraged for second-class ones. Then how can domestic investors' interest be protected?" Fang asked.

Source: China Daily

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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