China has been on an initial public offerings (IPO) frenzy in the first six months of 2017, with 247 companies going public, and a total IPO fundraising of 125.4 billion yuan ($18.3 billion).
This marks the strongest first half of a year since 2011. The surge of new IPOs reflects the relative stability of China’s stock market over the past year.
A total of 119 enterprises in the Shanghai Stock Exchange and 128 in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange went public in the first half of 2017, according to the “2017 Midyear Review: IPOs and other market trends,” a report by KPMG.
In the first half of 2016, 61 IPO deals raised 28.4 billion yuan in proceeds ($4.19 billion).
“The consumer markets and industrial sectors led in terms of funds raised. This is in line with the government’s desire to deleverage companies within both sectors due to their heavy reliance on bank borrowings,” said Charles Wan, a partner at KPMG China. “The technology sector continues to play a big part in A-share IPOs with a 20 percent market share.”
There is no indication of a slowdown in the second half of the year, as the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) will need to continue to clear companies that have been queuing up to go public.
The regulators have tightly restricted new public share sales since mid-2015, blaming them for draining cash from the rest of the share market, and that move pushed more companies into more loosely regulated private placements to raise funds.
Private placements in China jumped fivefold from 2013 to 1.18 trillion yuan ($172 billion) in 2016, dwarfing the IPO market, which raised just 149.6 billion yuan ($22.1 billion) in 2016.
Officials have long floated the possibility of moving to a simplified registration system in which stock exchanges, rather than the CSRC, supervise the process.
Regulators would focus on ensuring proper information disclosures but would no longer conduct detailed evaluations of a company’s business. But few believe that fundamental reform of the IPO system is likely to move forward this year.