A smartphone shows stock index, April 7, 2015. [Asianewsphoto by Long Wei]
Shanghai has edged out New York to become the global leader for new company listings during the first quarter after raising 33.4 billion yuan ($5.4 billion).
A report from accountants Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on Friday showed that the Shanghai Stock Exchange surpassed rivals New York and Hong Kong for the first time when it came to initial public offerings.
During the first three months of the year, 35 companies launched new listings in Shanghai. The frantic pace of IPOs comes ahead of the launch of new regulations governing new listings later this year.
When that happens, the China Securities Regulatory Commission will allow investors and the markets to make their own judgments about a company's value and the risks of buying its shares.
At the moment, companies planning to list on China's stock markets have to undergo a review and approval process with the CSRC making the final decision. But changes have been in the pipeline since 2013 to revamp the process.
This has triggered a wave of new listings in Shanghai before the new regulations come into place, pushing the New York Stock Exchange off the number one spot. In fact, there were around 50 percent fewer IPOs on the NYSE, raising $3.52 billion.
New listings in Hong Kong during the first three months of the year slowed to just 25 companies, raising $2.45 billion. This was 59 percent down from the same period last year, according to the Deloitte report.
Tong Chuanjiang, head of A-share IPO business for northern China at Deloitte China, said that falling interest rates, reductions in the reserve requirement ratio by the People's Bank of China and positive sentiment toward the reform of the new share sales system have boosted the appetite for IPOs.
Deloitte is predicting that the A-share market in China will likely see between 260 to 300 new listings this year and that could raise between 150 billion and 180 billion yuan.
The market may also see a large flotation from an energy and resources company, according to the applications filed with the CSRC.
Last year, Hong Kong was ranked second behind New York in the global IPO market with companies raising $26.7 billion.