China's securities regulator will lift the yearlong ban on new mainland share issuances "in the near future" and possibly as early as April, the South China Morning Post reported, citing high-level sources. The ban is likely to be lifted in two stages. Initially, large A-share listed companies would be allowed to raise capital by issuing new shares. This would be followed by the first initial public offering from a small or medium-sized company once an ideal candidate had been identified. Authorities are hoping a strong first offering will boost confidence in mainland markets and attract interest for larger subsequent listings. A number of Hong Kong-listed mainland companies have expressed an intent to list on the A-share market.