March 22, 2019 / 11:48 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Shanghai exchange unveils first applicants for Nasdaq-style tech board

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SHANGHAI, March 22 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Stock Exchange took a major step toward launching its hotly-anticipated Nasdaq-style technology board, announcing on Friday that it had accepted listing applications from nine companies, in sectors from chip making to new energy technology.

The announcement on the exchange’s website means share trading will start on the Science and Technology Innovation board as soon as June, since the exchange will take three months to review applications.

The new tech board, announced by President Xi Jinping in November, marks a radical shift from the current lengthy and cumbersome process for initial public offerings.

The board’s registration-based listing procedure will cut regulatory red tape and allow listings by start-ups that have yet to turn a profit.

The new board is viewed as a move by Beijing to counter U.S. curbs on China’s technology advances, and as part of efforts to build Shanghai into an international financial hub.

The Shanghai exchange on Friday urged market participants, including issuers and underwriters, to work together to ensure a good start, and the long-term health of the board.

Among the nine applicants are Ningbo Ronbay New Energy Technology Co, Wuhan Keqian Biology Co, Ankon Technology (Wuhan) Co and chip maker HeJian Technology (Suzhou) Co.

Average market capitalization of the nine applicants, which also include Guangdong Lyric Robot Automation Co and Jiangsu Beiren Robot System Co, is expected to be 7.28 billion yuan ($1.08 billion), the exchange said. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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