At least five Chinese securities firms are thought to be planning domestic share offerings before the end of the year, riding on the back of soaring underwriting and trading fees generated by the strong stock market. Toying with bankruptcy just two years ago, the country's 110 investment banks have since seen the total capitalization of the stock market expand 6.6 times, the Financial Times reported. Share listings are seen as a key to withstanding increased competition from the likes of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan, which is expected once the year-long ban on foreign investment in the sector is lifted. Guotai Junan is likely to be the first to market, with China Merchants Securities, Oriental Securities, Guosen Securities and Everbright Securities also making IPO plans. CITIC Securities and Hongyuan Securities are the only firms already listed.