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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Global Financial Crisis> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: April 10, 2009 NO. 15 APR. 16, 2009
Growth in the Making
China will introduce a Growth Enterprise Market to help small innovative businesses ride out the liquidity crisis

Whether the growth board can cultivate great companies that have positive influence on China's and the world's economic growth and technology revolution will determine the success of the GEM, said Wang Ran, CEO of a Beijing-based investment bank, China eCapital Corp., in his blog.

Key Qualifications for Growth Enterprise Market Candidates

- The company must have run its business for more than three years and have net assets of at least 20 million yuan ($2.9 million).

The company has to be profitable for the latest two years with combined net profits of at least 10 million yuan ($1.46 million), or have revenue of at least 50 million yuan ($7.3 million) and a profit of at least 5 million yuan ($730,000) for the last fiscal year, with revenue growth of no less than 30 percent in the latest two years.

- The company must have total capital stock of no less than 30 million yuan ($ 4.4 million) after the IPO.

- The company should have a clear-cut core business and can only use the money raised at the GEM to develop its core business.

Growth Enterprise Market Built in a Decade

January 1998: The National Leading Group for Science and Technology

decided to work out a scheme to facilitate venture capital investing in

hi-tech companies in China.

January 1999: The Shenzhen Stock Exchange submitted to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) a feasibility study on launching a GEM board. In March, the CSRC said it was considering establishing a

hi-tech company board at either the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange.

April 2000: Zhou Xiaochuan, then Chairman of CSRC, said the watchdog

was ready and China would soon launch the second board if related

legislation and technical conditions were in place.

October 2000: The Shenzhen Stock Exchange stopped IPOs to make

arrangements for the GEM launch.

Early 2001: Cheng Siwei, then Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee

of the National People's Congress, suggested postponing the GEM,

drawing lessons from the dot-com crash on the U.S. Nasdaq market and

the omnipresent scandals at domestically listed companies. Later that year, high-level officials decided to rectify the main board before introducing GEM.

2002: Cheng Siwei proposed a "three-step" approach to establishing

the GEM, suggesting that the government launch an SME market

before the GEM.

October 2003: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China's

decision on issues regarding the improvement of the socialist market

economy system stated that China would promote venture investing and

launch the GEM.

January 2004: The State Council announced its intention to establish the

GEM, improve the venture investing system and expand financing channels

for SMEs in a guideline on promoting the country's reform and opening up

and the steady development of China's capital markets.

May 2004: The CSRC approved the establishment of an SME market in the

Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

June 2004: The Shenzhen bourse resumed IPOs, and eight new companies

were listed in the SME market.

June 2005: Both the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets stopped IPOs as the mainland prepared to undertake shareholding reform across the country.

June 2006: The two markets resumed IPOs. In late 2006, Shang Fulin,

Chairman of CSRC, said the government would launch the GEM

at an appropriate time.

August 2007: The State Council approved the scheme of establishing

a multilayer capital market with focus on the GEM.

March 5, 2008: Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to establish a market for growth enterprises while delivering the government work report.

March 17, 2008: Shang Fulin, Chairman of the CSRC, said the commission expected to create the GEM board in the first half of the year.

March 22, 2008: The CSRC issued the draft rules for the GEM board, laying the legal foundations for IPOs in this market segment.

March 31, 2009: The CSRC officially issued a temporary regulation on IPOs at the GEM board, which will take effect on May 1, paving the way for

startup businesses to gain financing in the capital markets.


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