BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese firms seeking to be listed on the stock market may be disappointed once more, as the much-anticipated resumption of initial public offerings (IPOs) is likely to be further delayed, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday.
The resumption of IPOs may be postponed until the third quarter of the year due to gloomy economic prospects and the need to reframe the country's IPO mechanism, the report said.
The market had widely expected the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to resume the approval of IPOs no later than May. The regulator halted approvals in July 2012 after investors complained that massive offerings had drained liquidity and created a weak market.
The CSRC started reviewing financial statements filed by companies seeking IPOs in April. Hundreds of companies applied.
The financial statement verification process is stricter than before and much slower than the CSRC had specified, the report cited sources from investment banks and companies as saying.
Theoretically speaking, IPO-related procedures will be started immediately after the reviews are completed, although this does not necessarily indicate that the CSRC is in a hurry to resume IPO approvals, the report quoted a market insider as saying.
According to CSRC rules, Chinese companies must pass a 10-step review process before being listing on the equity markets.
CSRC data issued last week showed that 173 companies seeking to be listed in Shanghai are waiting to be reviewed, while 319 companies that are planning IPOs in Shenzhen are also waiting for regulators.