It’s not just Ant: Chinese stock exchange turns down another IPO

Just over a week since the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s stunning suspension of Ant Group Co.’s blockbuster listing, its rival in Shenzhen turned down another hopeful for the first time since new rules were adopted to quicken the share sale process.

Jiangsu Netin Technologies Co. Ltd., a software developer, had its initial public offering request denied on Wednesday, according to a filing from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It’s the first ChiNext application to be rejected since the bourse introduced new rules in June to give firms an easier path under so-called registration-based initial public offerings.

Coming days after Ant Group had its IPO abruptly halted, the move has “sounded the alarm” for other prospects looking to list their companies on ChiNext, said Manran Ma, general manager at Beijing Mamanran Asset Management Ltd. “The listing suspension of Ant Group could also be seen as a signal that the recent regulatory environment may [be] relatively tougher than the past,” he said.

Shenzhen’s ChiNext board said that it rejected Jiangsu Netin’s application because it failed to meet all requirements, citing inadequate information disclosure regarding stake transfers among shareholders and tax payments. The company can ask for a review of the rejection within five working days, it added. According to its IPO application dated June 29, the firm had planned to raise 460 million yuan ($69 million).

Shenzhen’s ChiNext board implemented new IPO rules over the summer, which lowered the financial requirements for companies to list and accelerated review periods. The new registration system has accepted a total of 433 IPO applications so far, according to the exchange’s website.

China’s ambitions to clamp down on its powerful private-sector were on full display this week after Beijing issued its broadest attempt yet to rein in firms by issuing new guidelines on anti-monopoly regulations. On Tuesday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission also pledged to improve corporate governance and enhance scrutiny of initial public offerings, according to a statement on its website.

The stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen rank among the world’s top 10 operators and have for years rivaled to claim the top spot. Together they make up the world’s second-most valuable national equity market globally after the U.S.

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