BUSINESS ChiNext to reform in bid to boost tech sector

BUSINESS

ChiNext to reform in bid to boost tech sector

China Daily

14:41, October 21, 2019

ChiNext will become the second board of China's A-share market to apply registration-based reform, as the country boosts efforts to revamp its capital markets to support digital innovation, the top securities watchdog said on Sunday.

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File photo: China Daily

The China Securities Regulatory Commission will step up reforms on the ChiNext and pilot the registration-based initial public offering system on the 10-year-old innovative enterprise-heavy submarket on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, said Li Chao, vice-chairman of the CSRC.

The commission will improve fundamental rules regarding stock issuance, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and refinancing on the ChiNext, enhancing the board's inclusiveness to innovative enterprises and startups, Li said at a sub-forum of the ongoing sixth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Sunday.

The sci-tech innovation board, or the STAR Market, debuted in late July on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and kicked off the registration-based reform of the A-share market.

"A highlight in this year's capital markets serving technological innovation is the smooth launch - with support from different parties - of the STAR Market that pilots the registration-based reform," Li said. For the next step, securities regulators will roll out rules of refinancing and plan the listing of red-chip companies on the STAR Market, according to Li.

Among 34 STAR-listed firms, 19 of them are directly related to the digital economy and engage in information technology, network communications and software services, Li said.

Xu Yilin, deputy general manager of the SSE, said at the forum that more than 50 firms are expected to be listed on the STAR Market by early November.

The setup of the STAR Market could encourage Chinese tech firms to increase research investment in key technologies and has motivated more institutional investors to support technological innovation, Li Xiaoqiang, general manager of the China Internet Investment Fund Co Ltd, told China Daily at the conference.

As the ability of China's capital markets to serve digital innovation gradually strengthens, opportunities of international investment cooperation between China and the rest of the world flourish, experts said at the forum.

Fabian Von Heimburg, chief representative of the German Startups Association in China, said there are big win-win opportunities for China and Europe to cooperate closer in terms of investment in the digital economy.

German and European markets lack funds to support high-tech start-ups, who are now "highly undervalued" and therefore provide great investment opportunities for Chinese capital, said Heimburg, who is also co-founder and managing director of Shanghai-based Hotnest Technology.

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