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Amid Epidemic, SSE to See First Online IPO Ceremony
From February 24, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) will hold IPO Ceremonies online instead of at the trading hall for the first time in its history, to facilitate the companies’ listings amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
From February 24, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) will hold IPO Ceremonies online instead of at the trading hall for the first time in its history, to facilitate the companies’ listings amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). This Monday, the first online IPO ceremony was put on SSE’s website for BESTORE (603719), a snack brand headquartered in Wuhan, the epidemic’s epicenter. In addition, the SSE has also introduced a series of support measures such as reducing listing fees and appointing specific personnel for remote contacts for the companies to be listed.

According to the SSE’s “Notice on the Regulatory Business Arrangements for Fully Supporting the Prevention and Control of the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia”, the on-site listing ceremonies will not be arranged during the epidemic prevention and control. However, considering that the listing ceremony is of special significance to a company, and is also a symbol that a company has gone public and will assume more social responsibilities, the SSE created a special channel for serving the IPO companies and offering a brand-new “online listing ceremony”. The online ceremonies retain the main sections and elements of the offline ceremonies, with a video simulation of gong beating, the climax part of a traditional IPO ritual. Applicants for this innovative service can submit certain clips and other material to the SSE, which will finish the video production for them. IPO firms can choose to livestream the ceremony on the official platform of the SSE (http://www.sse.com.cn/aboutus/mediacenter/ceremony/).

Without a sense of presence, there is still the sense of ritual; despite the inability to witness the ceremony on site, the same market vitality can still be felt. This new initiative of the SSE has been well received by the issuers. From February 4 to 21, 13 companies were successfully listed and traded on the SSE. For those companies that have been listed but have not yet held a listing ceremony during the epidemic, the SSE will ask the issuers for their opinions, and support them in having an on-site or online ceremony subsequently.

The new service is SSE’s latest move to push ahead with serving the capital market against the epidemic outbreak. It has offered IPO-related services to hundreds of firms via internet and telephone.
   
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