Nation poised to be IPO 'king'

10:19, July 06, 2010      

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The number of new listings on mainland bourses may reach 300 this year and raise 500 billion yuan ($73.78 billion) despite market volatility in the first six months of 2010, international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a report on Monday.

This would make China No 1 in the global initial public offering (IPO) market in terms of both quantity and funds raised. In a forecast earlier this year, PwC estimated funds raised through China's IPOs will soar 73 percent to exceed 320 billion yuan this year.

"The China IPO market, especially the Shenzhen Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Board and ChiNext, China's Nasdaq-style board, picked up significantly in the first half of the year, despite uncertainties on the global recovery and the European debt crisis," said PwC China Markets Leader Frank Lyn.

Among 174 new listings in the first half of the year, 110 were launched on the Shenzhen SME board, 53 on Shenzhen ChiNext, and 11 in Shanghai. In the same period last year, there were no new listings in Shanghai or Shenzhen. Among this year's estimated 300 new listings, 25 will take place in Shanghai and 275 on the Shenzhen SME Board and ChiNext, the report said.

"This demonstrates that SMEs with high growth potential are ready to raise capital in the market," Lyn said.

Moreover, around two to three international companies, including at least one red chip, will probably float shares on the Shanghai bourse before the end of this year as the regulator has almost finished drawing up rules for the international board, said Charles Feng, PwC Beijing lead partner.

A number of international financial institutions, such as HSBC and Standard Chartered, have expressed their desire to make offerings on the Shanghai bourse.

The PwC report also showed that IPO funds raised amounted to 212.7 billion yuan in the first half of the year, compared to 187.9 billion yuan raised in the whole of 2009.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has maintained one of the largest listing markets after the mainland, with HK$50.3 billion raised in the first half of this year, representing a 186 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, industrial products dominated new listings, accounting for 43 percent, followed by information technology and telecommunications at 27 percent, retail and consumer goods and services at 26 percent, energy and utilities with 3 percent, and 1 percent for financial services.

"Unless some negative factors emerge, IPOs in Shanghai and Shenzhen will maintain their momentum and are likely to reach historic highs this year," Feng said.

Source:China Daily


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