China regulator halts 42 IPOs on probe into broker, law firm

The halts come amid a broader crackdown on the private sector in China that has roiled capital markets. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - China's market regulator halted 42 initial public offerings (IPOs) in Shanghai and Shenzhen after starting a probe into an investment bank, a law firm and other parties involved in the deals.

The news of the shelved IPOs was reported by Shanghai Securities News, which cited disclosures by the exchanges and company filings.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) started a probe into China Dragon Securities, Beijing-based law firm Tian Yuan, Carea Assets Appraisal and Zhongxingcai Guanghua Certified Public Accountants, according to Shanghai Securities News.

The halts come amid a broader crackdown on the private sector in China, which has roiled capital markets.

Regulators have also tightened controls over IPOs this year as firms flocked to raise capital amid a fast economic recovery and an earlier streamlining of regulations.

After a mid-year work meeting, the market regulator said last Friday (Aug 20) that it will "strictly control the entrance to the capital market" and that it has "zero tolerance" for market misconduct.

Among those halted was the share sale of BYD's chip unit, according to an Aug 18 update on the Shenzhen bourse's website.

The firms involved in the probe and the CSRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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