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October 19, 2009

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GEM trading set to begin on October 30

THE first day of trading will be October 30 for the 28 start-up firms to list on the long-anticipated Nasdaq-style Growth Enterprise Market, officials from Shenzhen Stock Exchange said yesterday.

Officials from the stock exchange, which hosts the new board, said companies will publish registration statements on the Shenzhen bourse on October 26 after they get listing approval.

GEM has been in the planning stage for a decade and is designed to help innovative companies secure funding as they may not qualify for bank loans.

The first 28 companies, which cover pharmaceuticals, new energy, software and electronics, have raised a combined 15.48 billion yuan (US$2.26 billion), more than doubling the amount planned.

The price-to-earnings ratio of the first 28 firms exceeded last year's earnings by 55 times, compared with an average 36 times for initial public offerings on the main boards so far this year, triggering concern that the new shares would likely drop below issue prices on debut.

To curb speculation, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has ruled that any share on the new board that increases or decreases more than 80 percent on its first day of trading would be suspended until three minutes before the market's close.


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