Chinese firms with offshore structure to need approval for Hong Kong IPOs -sources By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Chinese language nationwide flag flutters exterior the China Securities Regulatory Fee (CSRC) constructing on the Monetary Road in Beijing, China July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Picture

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator is trying to increase its scrutiny of abroad listings by offshore integrated firms to incorporate preliminary public choices (IPO) in Hong Kong, 5 folks with information of the matter mentioned.

The China Securities Regulatory Fee (CSRC) has already been organising a group to give attention to firms in search of to listing offshore utilizing the so-called variable curiosity entity (VIE) company construction which Beijing says has led to abuse.

However some market members had not anticipated the scrutiny to be prolonged to such companies in search of to listing within the Chinese language territory of Hong Kong – a most popular venue for firms on this planet’s second-largest economic system to lift capital offshore.

Nonetheless, beneath the brand new guidelines being drafted, CSRC won’t exclude Hong Kong-bound Chinese language firms with a VIE construction from in search of approval, the folks advised Reuters on situation of anonymity given the sensitivity of the change.

The transfer wouldn’t augur nicely for the Asian monetary hub as it might make it more difficult for Chinese language companies on the lookout for a venue nearer to house amid tighter checks in america – one other prime vacation spot for offshore floats.

The proposed modifications are a part of China’s months-long crackdown on non-public companies to rein in “disorderly growth of capital” that has concerned behemoths like Alibaba (NYSE:), Ant Group and ride-hailing large Didi.

There isn’t a timeline for the revealing of the brand new pointers, the sources added.

CSRC didn’t reply to a request for remark, whereas Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX), the operator of the native bourse, and the markets regulator Securities and Futures Fee declined to remark.


The VIE construction was created twenty years in the past to avoid guidelines proscribing international funding in delicate industries corresponding to media and telecommunications, enabling Chinese language firms to lift funds abroad by way of offshore listings.

It has been extensively adopted by China’s new economic system firms, primarily web companies, which might be typically integrated within the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands and due to this fact fall exterior Beijing’s authorized jurisdiction.

Below the present guidelines, Chinese language firms with a VIE construction should not have to hunt formal regulatory approvals for IPOs in america or in Hong Kong, and might bypass the scrutiny and prolonged IPO vetting course of that locally-incorporated firms need to undergo.

There have been $35.3 billion value of IPOs in Hong Kong in 2021, of which Chinese language firms accounted for 96.3%, in response to Refinitiv knowledge. The worth of offers is up from $22.76 billion from a yr earlier, the info confirmed.

Individually, HKEX has additionally elevated scrutiny of Chinese language IPO candidates that now face extra queries on potential regulatory points, mentioned two of the sources, who advise a few of these firms.

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