China has stopped granting some financial institutions licenses which would allow them to participate in offline subscriptions for initial public offerings (IPO) in a bid to cool the market, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person close to the situation. The Securities Association of China, which is supervised by the securities regulator, has not issued such licenses to newly organized mutual funds, trusts and other types of money managers, for at least four months, it is claimed. Offline subscriptions are reserved for qualified institutional investors, which include state-run firms and the national social security fund, whose bids determine an IPO’s pricing range. Restricting these institutions to online subscriptions effectively means they are being treated the same as retail investors, who have no influence over price. The China Securities Regulatory Commission introduced new rules governing the IPO market in June this year following the lifting of a moratorium on new listings the same month.
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