Shanghai Exchange considers launching high-yield, blue-chip board

SHANGHAI Wed Jan 1, 2014 9:35pm EST

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SHANGHAI Jan 2 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Stock Exchange is considering launching a board of high-yielding, blue-chip stocks to help raise the overall quality of firms listed on the bourse as part of a drive to boost its appeal to retail investors in 2014.

Outlining its 2014 work plans, the bourse in a statement late on Wednesday that it will also strengthen its supervision of listed companies to improve timely market disclosure. Any listed companies found guilty of accounting fraud will be made to repurchase all issued shares and compensate investors, the exchange said.

China has recently adopted a slew of policies aimed at protecting retail investors, such as banning stock exchange listings via the purchase of listed shell firms.

Other measures designed to bolster retail investor confidence including encouraging richer cash dividend payouts; raising penalties for initial public offering applicants who exaggerate earnings forecasts; and setting limits on first-day price rises for new shares.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 6.7 percent in 2013 and regulators have only just begun to approve new listings after a year-long freeze aimed at stamping out equity market fraud and restoring faith in domestic markets.

(Reporting by Fayen Wong and Shen Yiming; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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