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Shenzhen ChiNext debuts 18 startups under new IPO rules, stocks soar

Under the “registration-based” system, newly-listed stocks on ChiNext won’t have daily volatility limits in the first five days of trading.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange

Shenzhen’s technology-heavy ChiNext board on Monday saw the first batch of companies debut under a reformed initial public offering (IPO) system that is expected to improve the appeal of China’s capital market amid rising US-China trade tensions. The shares of the 18 newly-listed firms rallied on the first trading day.

The companies represent various industries ranging from equipment manufacturing, culture, art, healthcare, to automobiles, and environment, according to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Together they raised over RMB 20 billion (USD 2.89 billion), while more than half of them secured alone more than RMB 1 billion, signaling investors’ high interest. Electronics manufacturer Anker Innovations (SZ:300866) is leading the group with RMB 2.72 billion (USD 393.18 million) raised.

The shares of the firms jumped across the board. Ningbo-based KBE Electrical Technology (SZ:300863) is up 734% to RMB 158 (USD 22.85), while Contec Medical Systems (SZ:300869), closed at RMB 118 (USD 17.06), an increase of 1061.4% from its IPO price. Boosted by the debut, the ChiNext Price Index on Monday rose 1.98% to 2684.63.

The Nasdaq-style ChiNext board was launched nearly a decade ago by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in a bid to provide a better capital environment for Chinese tech companies. However, upstart tech firms including Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, and Pinduoduo, all preferred Hong Kong or the US markets for their IPOs.

Recently, ChiNext and its Shanghai counterpart, the technology-focused STAR Market, attracted more attention from investors, as Chinese tech companies face mounting pressure in the US, while China itself stepped up efforts to build a technology-driven economy.

Faster and more transparent

Prior to this new “registration-based” system, ChiNext operated under an approval-based IPO mechanism, requiring the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to vet every IPO application, which was time-consuming and considered as not transparent.

Under the revamped system, new stocks won’t have daily price-move limits in the first five days of trading. After the first five days, ChiNext also doubled the volatility limits to 20%, following the suit of the STAR Market.

The registration-based rules, which were announced by the CSRC in April, can help increase the efficiency of IPOs by clarifying requirements and shortening procedures—so far, the 18 companies took on average 58.8 days to go public.