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July 21, 2009

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Home » Business » Finance

CSRC ready for GEM hopefuls

CHINA'S securities regulator will on Sunday receive applications from companies which plan to float shares on a Nasdaq-like board, another step toward introducing the long-anticipated financing platform for start-up firms.

Candidates will receive a first response from the regulator within 20 days after handing in applications for the Growth Enterprise Market, and it will take about three months to review a company, China Securities Journal quoted a spokesperson for th e China Securities Regulatory Commission as saying yesterday.

Companies which have applied to launch an initial public offering on the main board can switch to the GEM, but they must withdraw their main board applications first, the spokesperson said.

"Enthusiasm from cash-strapped small companies to list on the board will be strong as it opens a new channel for their fund raising," said Wu Ke, a Zhongtian Investment Consulting Co analyst.

"But the regulator will likely only let quality firms list initially to ensure the board has a stable start," Wu said.

Companies on the GEM will face stricter disclosure conditions and limits on stock sales than those on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses.

But they will have a lower threshold, including annual net profit of at least 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) in the previous two years, or 5 million yuan for one year with sales of at least 50 million yuan.

In contrast, companies on the main boards must have a net profit of at least 30 million yuan in the previous three years or total sales above 300 million yuan.

Yao Gang, vice chairman of the CSRC, said earlier this month that preparations to launch the GEM in Shenzhen are basically done.

It is expected that the first batch of companes will list on the GEM around the end of October.


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