China approves 30 new IPOs to cool red-hot stock market

China approves 30 new IPOs to cool red-hot stock market
Investors look at information displayed on an electronic screen at a brokerage house in Shanghai.

SHANGHAI - China's securities regulator approved 30 initial public offerings (IPOs) late on Thursday, a move which could cool a stock market rally that has seen the benchmark blue-chip index surge 13 per cent since the start of this year.

The number of IPOs approved jumped from 20 in January, and 24 each in February and March, sending out the message that regulators intend to accelerate the pace of IPOs as part of their efforts to cool the red-hot market, analysts said.

Twenty-eight among the 30 on Friday published their share issue prospectuses to launch the IPOs over the next two weeks, based on filings to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Chinese investors typically show strong interest in new share issues and subscriptions to IPOs typically lock up huge amounts of cash for a few days and divert funds from existing shares, cooling the secondary market.

The official Chinese Securities Journal estimated on Friday that the latest batch of IPOs could tie up as much as 3.7 trillion yuan (S$700 billion) in subscription funds for a short period over the next two weeks.

China's blue-chip CSI300 index has surged since the second half of last year as the government talks up the market to support corporate fund-raising, while economic reforms add to enthusiasm for hot stocks.

The official Securities Times reported on Friday that around one trillion yuan of fresh funds flowed into the stock market in the first quarter of this year alone.

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