Unilever Joins Queue Of Foreigners Applying For China Stock Market

SHANGHAI: Dutch consumer product giant Unilever continues its preparations to list on China's stock markets and will submit an application to China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) after the release of the related regulations on foreign company listings, a source in Unilever China told Bridge News. Aiming to attract more foreign investment, China announced in September that foreign-invested companies in which the foreign party has a controlling interest may apply for a listing on China's A-share or B-share markets. But the specific requirements for such a listing have not been announced. China's markets are split into domestic A-share markets and foreign-invested B-share markets. Only a few joint ventures have listed, and the foreign investors do not have a controlling interest in those firms. Now, China is drafting the requirements on foreign-controlled firms' listing applications, and they should be released soon, Shenzhen's Securities Times reported Dec. 10, quoting Ma Xiuhong, assistant to the chairman of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. Apparently, some foreign firms are already in line for a listing, however. CSRC vice chairman Gao Xiqing earlier this year said that with listing applications from 320 companies in the pipeline, including a few foreign joint ventures, new foreign applicants would simply have to wait their turn. Gao said the CSRC welcomed applications by firms such as the Netherlands' or Germany's Mercedes. But he noted, "we can't just let them jump the queue." But Unilever wants to be ready when the opportunity comes, it seems. "Now we continue the preparation work and wait for some related regulations to come out, then we can make (the necessary) adjustments to our plans, and submit it to the CSRC for approval," the Unilever source said.

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