April 11, 2014 / 8:31 AM / 4 years ago

China securities regulator denies freeze on IPO process

SHANGHAI, April 11 (Reuters) - China has not closed its window for IPO applications, the country’s securities regulator told a news conference on Friday, responding to domestic media reports and investor concerns that another de facto freeze had been put in place.

The China Securities Regulatory Commissions (CSRC) said on its official microblog that investors should not misread a March 27 statement encouraging firms to choose the “appropriate time” to list as a signal that IPOs were being forcibly suspended.

“That suggestion was in response to issues the market cares about; it did not mean forcing (companies to suspend applications), and it did not mean that the IPO application window is closed,” the regulator said in a live-blog post from the news conference.

Over the last few days, some Chinese media have reported that the IPO process had been informally put on hold after almost two months in which no new companies had listed, and some investment banking sources also said they believed IPOs were on hold.

China allowed IPOs to resume in early 2014 after a hiatus of 14 months, allowing around 50 already approved companies to list on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges.

However, market participants are still unclear when regulators will begin processing applications for the next batch of more than 700 companies still in the queue.

On the other hand, analysts expect a delay in the process, given the need to update corporate annual performance results to the end of 2013, a task that can take until the end of April. (Reporting by Natalie Thomas and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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