Highlights from the last week of China business news.
IPO safe havens
The A-share market isn’t doing so well these days, and regulators have their hands full. It wasn’t so long ago that the CSRC was encouraging mega-IPOs to soak up liquidity in the soaring A-share markets. Now, they’re saying the opposite, telling Ping An, for example, to cut back its planned share and bond offering. Investors are piling into IPOs and ditching buying on the secondary market, as China Railway Construction Group’s US$3.1 billion Shanghai listing proved – the retail tranche was 155 times oversubscribed. The chronically underpowered SEPA actually aided the CSRC by delaying 10 domestic listings last year due to non-compliance with environmental rules. Two of the companies seeking listings have yet to be approved for IPOs.
Everyone needs China’s help these days. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to Beijing to ask President Hu Jintao to exert more pressure on recalcitrant neighbor North Korea to get rid of its nuclear program. There’s also Sudan, China’s troublesome trading partner. The Chinese special envoy has been dispatched to the country to find a solution to its ongoing civil strife (some say genocide). If you remember, he got on the plane just days after Steven Spielberg (who did Schindler’s List – and ET) quit his advisory role with BOCOG to escape being tarred by the genocide brush. As the Sudan-Olympics-genocide pressure builds, China will be looking for ways to relieve the pain. One of those remedies is to resume bilateral human rights talks with the US: during Rice’s visit, China said it was interested in doing just that. We speculate that this announcement probably didn’t rank among the personal highlights of the meeting for President Hu.
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