China's securities watchdog will check price-setting processes for all the 51 IPOs that have been approved since December, according to sources quoted in the 21st Century Business Herald on Wednesday.
Some IPO sponsors are circulating the message that inspectors from the China Securities Regulatory Commission plan to check the book-building process of all 51 IPOs, rather than applying spot checks.
The rumors of tightened checks appear to conflict with the CSRC's statement on Sunday that it plans only random spot checks of investor roadshows held for first-time offerings.
The CSRC had not responded to calls from China Daily as of press time.
IPOs will be suspended if companies are found to have disclosed information not contained in IPO prospectuses and other public releases. Underwriters will also be penalized for sharing non-public information with institutional investors.
"We haven't received formal notice from the authority, but it is possible,"said Vivien Wei, who works for an investment bank based in Guangzhou.
Based on earlier arrangements, materials of issuance should be maintained for three years after an offering, including live recording of the book-building and roadshow processes.
The CSRC warned earlier that a "market-decided" price does not mean price manipulation, and has discouraged high-priced offerings. But since then, some offerings have flouted the guideline, and the CSRC is determined to step in to curb the tendency, Wei said.
In a recent case, CSRC supervisors summoned executives behind Jiangsu Aosaikang's IPO offering, after the company announced last Thursday that the offering would be suspended.
Aosaikang had published a financing plan to issue 55,466,000 shares at 72.99 yuan ($12.07) per share, a price-to-earnings ratio of 67:1, far higher than the average PE level in the pharmaceutical sector. In the offering, 43.6 million of the shares to be issued were to be transferred from the holdings of former shareholders.
Analysts said it was the Aosaikang case that triggered the tightening of supervision for this round of IPOs.