CSRC: China’s IPO markets may re-open next month

China's regulators laid out some new listing rules.

China’s IPO markets, closed for more than a year, look set to re-open as soon as January, according to a statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

New listings have been frozen since late 2012 as regulators reformed the listing process.

Officials did not provide a specific date for the re-opening. But listing candidates who have passed the scrutiny of the public offering review committee can revise their application documents to fit new regulations and go through the remaining procedures, a CSRC official said at a press conference in late November.

“It’s widely predicted that several candidates, say about 50, who have passed the [review committee] will be able to go public in January, 2014,” said Yang Chen, partner at Han Kun Law in Beijing.

The CSRC released some new rules for listing as a result of its review. Companies have to disclose a prospectus after the listing application is accepted. The review for listing candidates will be less than three months and companies will be examined for legal compliance, not for profitability or investment value.

If there is significant misrepresentation in the prospectus, the company and shareholders are held responsible for any damages to investors in the IPO.

In addition, “The CSRC also emphasizes the responsibility of intermediary agencies, especially the sponsor, in the listing process.”

Yang added: “The CSRC is making efforts to change the share public offering system of China from an approval system to a registration system,” though he said it was too early to determine if the new requirements will be onerous for companies already in the listing queue.