A record number of companies are abandoning attempts to list on China’s answer to the Nasdaq, as regulators increase scrutiny of technology businesses after scuppering Ant Group’s $37 billion initial public offering, reported the Financial Times.
A Financial Times analysis of figures released by Shanghai’s Star Market shows a record 76 companies suspended their IPO applications in March, or more than double the previous month.
The flurry of cancellations pushes the total number of aborted attempts to list on Star to more than 180. In November, the month that Beijing pulled Ant’s listing due to concerns over its lending business, the total number of cancelled IPOs stood at just 12.
“The Star [Market] was genuinely meant to be a step in the direction of reform — what’s happening now is most certainly not,” said Fraser Howie, an independent analyst and expert on Chinese finance. “That has to be a worry in that even in China’s financial space, which was becoming more open and more market-driven, some of that is rolling back.”