March 30, 2018 / 12:06 PM / 4 months ago

China launches new share issue options to attract innovative firms

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s State Council announced on Friday a pilot scheme to encourage technology, bio-tech and high-end manufacturing firms to issue shares in mainland centres Shanghai and Shenzhen, pitting them against the offshore market of Hong Kong.

The scheme would allow qualifying overseas-listed companies with a market value of no less than 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) to issue shares or depositary receipts in the mainland market.

The scheme also applies to qualifying unlisted firms with a valuation of no less than 20 billion yuan or fast growing revenues.

Reuters reported earlier in March that China was making plans to allow its offshore-listed tech giants to sell depository receipts on the mainland.

China’s securities regulator will set up a new committee to select and review firms for the scheme, which applies to companies in fields such as the Internet, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, chips, bio-tech and high-end manufacturing.

The State Council said firms taking part in the scheme should treat domestic and foreign investors equally, and their prospectuses must disclose voting right differences and any special company structure arrangements.

($1 = 6.2730 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting By Beijing Monitoring Desk and Shu Zhang; Editing by Edmund Blair

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