Special Report: NPC, CPPCC Annual Sessions
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China will establish a stock market for growth enterprises this year, said Premier Wen Jiabao while delivering a government work report here on Wednesday.
"We will establish a market for growth enterprises, accelerate development of the bond market and steadily develop the futures market," Wen said at the opening of the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature.
The market for growth enterprises was meant to be a NASDAQ-like growth enterprise board to help small start-ups, especially high-growth, high-tech firms, to raise funds. Listing thresholds will be lower than the main board.
Xu Zhongheng, an NPC deputy and also Shenzhen mayor, said on Wednesday the time and conditions for the growth enterprise board are ripe.
The market for growth enterprises will be opened at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said on Wednesday, after the premier's report, that there was no timetable yet and the commission would solicit opinions and suggestions on the market for growth enterprises after the NPC session concludes on March 18.
Currently, nearly 200 companies were listed on the Shenzhen small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) board, whose market capitalization surpassed 120 billion U.S. dollars as of Dec. 11, more than four times the year-earlier level, when only 101 companies were listed.
In 2007 alone, 93 companies were listed on the Shenzhen SMEs board, with the debut of Ningbo Bank yielding the largest proceeds of 4.14 billion yuan (582 million dollars).
China launched its securities market in 1990 with the opening of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The country saw a round of bull stock market in 2007, with the key benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soaring from 2,728 points in January to 5,261 points, or 92.85 percent, on December 28.
In fact, the market has been on a bullish run for 29 months from June 6, 2005 to November 2007, longer than the general bullish market cycle of 17 to 24 months.
But it has dipped since last November, interlaid by several upturns that failed to turn the scale.