Gushan Environmental Energy, a biodiesel fuel producer, announced it would delay a planned US$200 million Hong Kong initial public offering until at least the first half of next year to await clarification of new rules bringing red-chip listings under much closer regulatory scrutiny. The firm is the first red-chip – a mainland firm whose assets are transferred to overseas shell companies before being listed in Hong Kong – to announce a delay since the rules took effect on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported. The new rules reinstate the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) oversight of red-chip listings, which it had virtually relinquished in June 2003, and also empower the commerce ministry to also approve red-chip transactions, along with the CSRC and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Some investors believe that uncertainty over the intent of the new rules will dry up the red-chip listing channel for the rest of the year, while others say the rules signal Beijing's desire to end red-chip share offerings altogether and make H-share listings the only way of accessing the Hong Kong market. The rules come amid growing protectionist sentiment in China, and follow concerns that managers of state-owned enterprises have used shell companies to buy their firms' assets at low prices and then made a big profit on the sale of stakes to foreigners through Hong Kong listings.