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China publishes rules for startup-focused Beijing Stock Exchange

Bourse part of Xi's plan to develop capital markets

investor sits in front of a board showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- China published a set of rules for the newly established Beijing Stock Exchange on Saturday, moving a step closer toward the official launch of a market designed to fund innovative startups.

The exchange was set up last month in the Chinese capital, complementing two other bourses in the business hub of Shanghai and the southern city of Shenzhen.

Establishing the Beijing Stock Exchange is part of President Xi Jinping's strategic scheme to develop China's capital markets, and will support innovation and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said on Saturday.

The rules, which were released by the CSRC following a public consultation, aim to regulate public offerings, information disclosure and corporate governance for the Beijing exchange. They will take effect on Nov. 15.

China has stepped up support for SMEs struggling in a slowing economy, while cracking down on tech giants under President Xi's vision of "common prosperity," a policy drive to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

Late on Friday, the CSRC published draft guidance that will require higher-quality information disclosure in companies' prospectuses under China's registration-based IPO system, on which the Beijing Stock Exchange will be based.

Shanghai's tech-heavy STAR Market and Shenzhen's startup board ChiNext have also adopted a U.S.-style registration-based IPO mechanism, which gives the market a bigger role in evaluating and pricing IPOs.

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