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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Beijing blocks listings of ‘red light’ firms to steer funding to strategic sectors

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China’s inventory regulator is ready to cease permitting native firms in sure sectors to record on the nation’s predominant inventory exchanges as Beijing works to channel funding into strategic industries, in accordance with two capital markets bankers acquainted with the matter.

The regulator has instructed some bankers that it has given a number of industries, together with meals and beverage chains and Covid-19 testing firms, a “red light” standing that makes them off-limits to fairness financing on the primary boards in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission additionally outlined various “yellow light” sectors, reminiscent of attire and furnishings, the place preliminary public providing requests might come underneath heavy scrutiny if their development depends closely on debt for enlargement.

Bankers and specialists stated that the CSRC was making an attempt to funnel cash in direction of sectors it deemed strategically vital because the nation pushed for technological self-reliance and financial development.

The regulator’s transfer to refresh the listings steering underscores Beijing’s efforts to make the nation’s fairness exchanges serve its nationwide agenda, stated analysts.

“The Chinese government doesn’t want a market-based stock market,” stated Larry Hu, an economist at Macquarie Group in Hong Kong. “It wants one that helps the authority carry out industry policy.”

The CSRC didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The newest listings steering follows a spate of IPOs as Beijing relaxed controls on fairness financing, particularly within the property sector, in December to be able to increase the financial system after it was severely constrained by years of harsh pandemic restrictions.

In distinction with languishing listings within the US final 12 months, 428 firms raised a document Rmb587bn ($87bn) on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses. The momentum is prone to proceed with greater than 760 teams within the IPO pipeline, in accordance with Wind, a monetary knowledge supplier. Some of these IPOs might now fall sufferer to the most recent steering.

The laws come even because the CSRC has pledged to push forward with reforms to take away regulatory hurdles to itemizing.

A Shenzhen-based funding banker who usually offers with the regulator stated Beijing wished to funnel IPO proceeds to industries of nationwide curiosity, reminiscent of info know-how and superior manufacturing, no matter monetary efficiency.

To obtain that finish, the regulator has tightened itemizing necessities on conventional industries as a result of it’s involved that their flotations could take up assets that might in any other case fund industries of strategic curiosity.

“What matters is not your bottom line,” stated the banker, referring to itemizing requirements, “but where you are within the national policy agenda.”

He added: “Everything must serve the national interest. IPOs are no exception.”

Following that logic, the CSRC has put extremely worthwhile alcohol makers on the “red light” record the place IPOs are out of the query.

Bankers stated the itemizing tightening was additionally a part of an effort by the regulator to weed out financially dangerous firms earlier than they brought about losses for retail buyers.

A Beijing-based funding banker acquainted with the CSRC steering stated the regulator put restaurant chains on the “red light” record as a consequence of fears that their debt-driven enterprise mannequin could not final because the financial system slows. PCR testing corporations have been discouraged to record after Beijing rolled again its harsh pandemic curbs.

“Business sustainability is a key [in IPO review] from the perspective of the CSRC,” stated the banker.

Source: www.ft.com

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