Nasdaq upbeat on China

08:42, August 06, 2010      

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Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, the owner of the second-largest US stock exchange, is likely to have its best year ever in terms of the number of new listings from China if the market continues to perform well, said Eric D. Landheer, the bourse's Asia-Pacific head, on Thursday.

Despite the slowing momentum of China's economic growth expected in the coming quarters, Landheer expressed optimism in China's initial public offering (IPO) market, which has been the largest overseas market for the New York-based bourse.

"There is a distinct possibility that this will be our best year ever in terms of new listings from China," Landheer said. Nasdaq had 33 listings from Chinese companies last year and Landheer said this year is expected to exceed last year's record.

The Chinese companies that are in the IPO pipeline are from sectors including education, technology and consumer services, Landheer said. But he declined to disclose the names of the companies and the capital they plan to raise.

American stock exchanges are vying to attract more companies from China in order to take advantage of the world's fastest growing IPO market. A total of 148 Chinese companies are listed on Nasdaq while its rival the New York Stock Exchange has seen 63 Chinese companies go public on its bourse.

China led the global IPO race in the first half of this year with 175 mainland companies raising $32.1 billion from domestic and overseas floats, exceeding the $28 billion raised during the same period last year, according to a recent report by international accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Nasdaq has seen 25 new listings from Chinese companies this year, which include nine IPOs, 12 upgrades from the over-the-counter bulletin board and four switches from other stock exchanges.

Meyer S. Frucher, the bourse's vice-chairman, is also visiting China to attend celebrations of the fifth anniversary as a Nasdaq-listed company of Baidu Inc, China's biggest online search engine.

"We look at China as the fastest growing and the most important economic engine and we look to China to create our relationships for the future," he said.

While American bourses remain the top choice for Chinese companies who want to tap foreign capital markets, domestic capital markets are also rising to compete with overseas rivals in the IPO market, especially after the launch of the Shenzhen-based start-up board ChiNext.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange was ranked first in the global IPO market in the first half of the year both in terms of funds raised and the number of deals.

Source:China Daily


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