Next batch of companies hope to raise $3.6 billion through China IPOs

Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:54am EDT
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's regulator posted draft initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses for 18 Chinese firms on Monday, bringing the total number of potential issuers up to 46, with state media estimating they could raise as much as 22.6 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) from investors.

The anticipated resumption follows a two-month flurry of IPOs in January and February this year, after regulators let the IPO market go dark for 14 months beginning in 2014, which some said was an attempt to boost sagging mainland stock indexes.

The CSRC released draft prospectuses for 28 companies on Saturday.

The official China Securities Journal said that 23.9 billion yuan worth of capital exited the domestic stock market on Monday as some Chinese investors became concerned that new IPOs would divert funds from existing shares.

"The flight of main stock investment funds amid a sharp fall of the main index means that damage to the market by the resumption of IPOs cannot be overestimated," the newspaper said.

The CSI300 Index .CSI300, which tracks the largest tickers in Shanghai and Shenzhen, has lost 1.69 percent since Friday, when media first reported the resumption of applications. .SS

But uncertainty about how many of these prospective companies will be allowed to actually list, and how soon, appears to have blunted the impact of the announcement on stock markets, and investment bankers have expressed uncertainty as to how hot the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) will let the IPO market actually get in 2014.

Some analysts have predicted the mainland IPO market could hit 250 billion yuan in 2014.

None of the 46 firms has been approved to launch IPOs yet, but the CSRC is expected to review these applications in May and permit the resumption of IPOs within the month, local analysts have forecast.   Continued...

Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song