China starts IPO reform for Shenzhen's start-up board ChiNext

China will pilot a reform to fast track initial public offerings (IPOs) on Shenzhen's start-up board ChiNext to deepen reform of the capital market, according to the country's top securities regulator.

The scheme to launch a registration-based IPO system on ChiNext, China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, was approved on Monday during a meeting presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who stressed the need to counter economic headwinds with structural reforms.

With information disclosure as its core, the registration system will improve the market's transparency and authenticity and allow investors to make their own value judgment, said the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). However, it did not give a timeline for the new regime to be adopted.

Experts predict that ChiNext could see its first IPO under the registration-based system later this year.

China first introduced the registration-based IPO system in Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market, launched last July, and plans to replicate the board's success in other markets.

Under the new listing mechanism, companies seeking an IPO no longer need approval from the CSRC, greatly shortening the waiting period.

Instead, the stock exchange will vet ChiNext IPO applications based on disclosure rules, expected to be revamped under the new mechanism. The market will decide on the pricing and timing of new share sales.

Besides, there will be no up and down limit for the first five days after a company lists on the stock exchange. After that, the up and down limit will be adjusted to 20 percent from the current 10 percent level.

The move also focused on intensifying the responsibilities of issuers and intermediary agencies as well as simplifying delisting procedures.

A streamlined listing process would make China's IPO market more attractive to tech start-ups as Shanghai and Shenzhen compete with other listing venues, such as Hong Kong and New York.

China's ChiNext, launched roughly a decade ago in the southern city of Shenzhen, is currently home to 807 companies, with total market capitalization of 6.78 trillion yuan (958 billion U.S. dollars).

(With inputs from Reuters and Xinhua)