China Plans Faster IPO Approvals in Capital Markets Push

(Bloomberg) -- China’s securities regulator is pushing to speed up and simplify the review process for initial public offerings, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the government tries to improve companies’ access to funding.

China Securities Regulatory Commission officials pledged at a work conference this week to relax requirements for IPO issuance and make it clear to issuers that it doesn’t impose a fixed threshold for annual profit, said the people, who asked not to be named because the comments weren’t public. The regulator aims to have at least four IPO applications approved each week, they said.

The CSRC didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment.

Authorities have unveiled a series of changes this year, including a planned new trading venue in Shanghai, as China increasingly looks to its capital markets for financing. Small, private businesses have been especially hit by tightening credit conditions, and policy makers have said that while bank loans to the sector should increase, equity and bond issuance should be another avenue for companies looking to raise funds.

Officials also said the regulator would seek to dispel concerns among issuers that it will closely supervise how money raised in an IPO is used, said the people. Companies should decide themselves how they want to use their cash, the CSRC representatives said at the conference, according to the people.

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