Huang Qing, Company Secretary, China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd, assesses the progress of China’s capital market reform programme.

Between June and July 2015, China’s stock market was hit by a wave of turbulence and instability. In hindsight, traders behaved irrationally and serious faults in our market system were exposed. The regulatory framework did not function well, in fact it failed to identify, prevent and mitigate material risks, but we have learned a good lesson from the market upheaval – unwavering adherence to the rule of law is key to ensuring market stability and its healthy development.

Refining our approach to market reform 

As part of the country’s capital market reform, the government is pressing ahead with its IPO registration system. This reform will be introduced in a gradual manner, and the pace of implementation will depend on the development of the capital market and legal conditions.

The regulatory framework underpinning the IPO registration system is now in place, having been enacted by the National People’s Congress (NPC), but the details will still have to be clearly defined for the new system to function effectively. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is now working on the formulation of the detailed rules and regulations within the framework, including the disclosure rules and pro-forma information requirements.

Regulators have also announced enhancements of the existing M&A and corporate restructuring mechanisms in China’s capital market. This aims to eliminate barriers to M&A and corporate restructuring activities across industries, regions and ownership systems, and also hopes to widen listed companies’ access to capital via asset injections, the introduction of strategic investors, amalgamation and merger, the issuance of preferred shares and convertible bonds through private placement, etc. It is believed that this initiative will drive innovation in M&A and corporate restructuring activities, and cut red tape by streamlining the approval process.

Regulators are also studying ways to develop the bond market in China, in particular by finding ways to deepen the interconnection of the bond market and increase the variety of bonds, such as green bonds, renewable bonds, high-yield bonds, project revenue bonds and hybrid bonds. Regulators are also studying ways to develop corporate asset securitisation, infrastructure asset securitisation and the launch of real estate investment trusts (REITs).

After years of relying on its qualified foreign investor (the QFII and RQFII) programmes, we are seeing the first steps towards a broader opening up of the capital market to foreign investors. However, we should continue to fine-tune the existing QFII and RQFII programmes by gradually relaxing the investment quotas. On the heels of the success of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme is set to be introduced and regulators are looking into the feasibility of establishing a trading link with the London bourse. Whenever possible, the A-share index should be included in internationally recognised indices. Quality foreign institutional investors, such as sovereign funds and pension funds, should be given a bigger role in Chinese capital markets.

The new approach to enforcement 

In 2016, the CSRC proposed to make amendments to the existing rules on the issuance of securities by listed companies in order to improve the oversight of private stock placement activities. It also proposed amendments to the existing rules on material asset restructuring by listed companies in order to introduce an approval process to significant asset restructuring activities. Other amendments have also been proposed aimed at strengthening the tentative rules on private equity funds.

The CSRC has also formulated rules against the manipulation of the futures markets and other illegal activities involving futures trading. In addition, the regulator has made amendments to the rules on protecting securities investors, and drafted a set of rules to define the eligibility of investors to participate in the futures markets. As a quick summary, these initiatives aim to fix loopholes in the current regulatory framework on listed issuers, private equity funds, futures markets, and so forth.

The CSRC has recently accepted proposals by the Investor Services Centre designed to prevent retail investors from engaging in market speculation. The proposed rules would require retail investors to hold onto stocks for a certain period, while enhancing their ability to exercise their legal rights as an ordinary shareholder. Tailor made for small investors, a trial scheme is now underway which will enable investors to buy a board lot (for example 100 A-shares) of the companies registered with the scheme. This way, the market watchdog believes, investors will be encouraged to behave rationally and will be better informed about the importance of shareholder rights.

In this pilot scheme, the Investor Services Centre is responsible for operating the voting scheme, handling the distribution of dividends and monitoring participating listed companies. Going forward, the Investor Services Centre will eventually play a more important role in investor protection.

As the market continues to develop at a rapid pace, strict enforcement of the rules must be upheld. Abnormal fluctuations in stock prices are a warning sign that indicates a need for closer supervision. Only when regulations are implemented and enforced in a consistent, open and predictable way, can the market continue to develop healthily.

Regulations must be strictly enforced – there should be no room for evasion and misinterpretation. Foresight is better than hindsight, so enforcement must be proactive and consistent and should intervene before situations deteriorate far enough to cause serious damage. The CSRC has introduced further restrictions on the sale of shares by major shareholders to prevent a major sell-off. The system for trading halts and resumption of trading has also been improved with the introduction of a new set of rules against unnecessary or arbitrary suspensions and aimed at reducing the suspension periods. Last but not least, administrative measures on all listed companies must be standardised.

The way forward 

As a market-oriented resource allocation platform, capital markets play an integral part in China’s ongoing economic reform programme, providing enterprises with a variety of financing channels to fund their business activities. A healthy capital market can help improve productivity, stimulate innovation and inject a fresh dose of vibrancy to China’s economic growth.

Looking ahead, institutional investors such as pension funds can play a more important role in the capital markets. With the right regulatory framework, they could also directly invest in companies or their assets or income-producing projects to generate long-term, stable returns on investment for the benefit of pension fund holders. Moreover, while we continue to explore and open up new financing channels for listed companies, investor protection must not be compromised. As such, establishing a regulatory structure on the basis of transparency, fairness and consistency is of utmost importance to the healthy development of Chinese capital markets.

Huang Qing

HKICS Affiliated Person
Company Secretary,
China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd

 

深化改革 依法治市 從嚴監管 穩健發展

中國神華能源股份有限公司董秘黃清認為,中國資本市場改革和市場監管須並駕齊驅。

2015年6月中旬至7月上旬期間內地股市的異常波動充分反映了中國股市不成熟,不成熟的交易者、不完備的交易制度、不完善的市場體系、不適應的監管制度等,也充分暴露了監管有漏洞、監管不適應、監管不得力等問題,因此必須深刻汲取教訓,深化改革,依法治市,從嚴監管,穩健發展。

深化改革

研究制定股票發行註冊制改革的相關製度規則,做好啟動改革的各項準備工作。註冊制改革是內地資本市場改革的方向,改革的製度設計必須充分考慮我國市場的環境和條件。全國人大做出的授權決定,為啟動註冊制改革的技術準備工作提供了法律依據。中國證監會還需按程序研究制定專門的部門規章、信息披露準則和規範性文件,系統構建註冊制的規則體系。

完善資本市場併購重組機制,推動消除跨行業、跨地區、跨所有製併購重組的障礙,支持上市公司特別是國有控股上市公司通過資產注入、引入戰略投資者、吸收合併、整體上市等多種方式做優做強,更好地支持經濟結構轉型和產業升級。深化併購重組市場化改革,進一步取消簡化上市公司併購重組行政許可,研究實行併購重組股份協商定價,推動擴大並聯審批範圍,完善分行業審核,提高審核效率。支持併購重組方式創新,豐富併購重組支付手段,研究出台發行優先股、定向發行可轉換債券等作為併購重組支付方式的實施細則。

更好地支持經濟結構轉型和產業升級。深化併購重組市場化改革,進一步取消簡化上市公司併購重組行政許可,研究實行併購重組股份協商定價,推動擴大並聯審批範圍,完善分行業審核,提高審核效率。支持併購重組方式創新,豐富併購重組支付手段,研究出台發行優先股、定向發行可轉換債券等作為併購重組支付方式的實施細則。

發展綠色債券、可續期債券、高收益債券和項目收益債券, 增加債券品種,發展可轉換債、可交換債等股債結合品種。發展企業資產證券化,推進基礎設施資產證券化試點,推出房地產投資信託基金 (REITs)。深化債券市場互聯互通。

進一步拓寬境內企業境外上市融資渠道,研究解決H股“全流通”問題。完善合格境外機構投資者 (QFII)、人民幣合格境外機構投資者 (RQFII) 制度,逐步放寬投資額度,推動A股納入國際知名指數,引導境外主權財富基金、養老金、被動指數基金等長期資金加大境內投資力度。啟動深港通,完善滬港通,研究滬倫通。

依法治市

2016年,中國證監會擬修訂《上市公司證券發行管理辦法》,加強上市公司非公開發行再融資監管;修訂《上市公司重大資產重組管理辦法》,進一步簡化重大資產重組行政許可審核;修訂《私募投資基金監督管理暫行辦法》,加強對私募基金活動的監督管理;制定《證券期貨市場操縱行為行政違法認定規則》、《證券期貨違法行為行政處罰辦法》,加大監管執法力度,規範並保障監管執法行為;修訂《證券投資者保護基金管理辦法》、制定《證券期貨市場投資者適當性管理辦法》,進一步加大中小投資者保護力度;做好證券法、期貨法的製定、修訂工作,研究推動完善有關打擊證券期貨違法犯罪行為的法律制度等相關工作;做好上市公司監管條例、私募基金管理條例的製定、修訂工作,並研究推動證券期貨投資諮詢管理暫行辦法的修改完善工作。

近日,中國證監會批准了中證中小投資者服務中心有限責任公司報送的《持股行權試點方案》。根據《持股行權試點方案》,投資者服務中心將在上海、廣東(不含深圳)、湖南三個區域開展持股行權試點,依法購買持有試點區域所有上市公司每家1手(100股) A股股票(持有後原則上不再進行買賣),以普通股東身份依法行使權利,通過示範效應提升中小投資者股權意識,引導中小投資者積極行權、依法維權,督促上市公司規范運作。試點階段,投資者服務中心將主要在中小投資者投票機制、利潤分配決策機制、公開承諾及履行、自願性簡明化信息披露等方面,行使知情權、建議權等無持股比例和期限限制的股東權利。在積累經驗的基礎上,逐步豐富行權事項和行權手段。

市場發展越快,就越要嚴格監管。股市異常波動警示我們,監管部門必須強化監管本位,牢固樹立從嚴監管、一以貫之的理念,緊跟市場發展變化,保持監管定力,只有嚴格監管下的發展才是可持續的發展,才是高質量的發展。

要把監管制度規則立起來、嚴起來,切實做到法規制度執行不漏項、不放鬆、不走樣。事中監管要抓早抓小、抓實抓細,堅決遏制苗頭性、傾向性問題,不能因未出現大的風險就放過。事後監管要依法從嚴處罰,嚴厲打擊各類違法違規行為。建立健全上市公司信息披露制度規則體系,推進簡明化、差異化、分行業信息披露。完善上市公司股權質押信息報送和披露規則。完善大宗交易減持信息披露規則,增加具體受讓人信息。完善停復牌制度,縮短停牌時間,減少隨意停復牌現象。統一上市公司行政監管措施實施標準。

穩健發展

作為市場化配置資源的平台,資本市場具有服務和支持供給側結構性改革的獨特優勢,可以為企業提供多樣化融資方式,降低企業槓桿率和融資成本,支持企業併購重組,助力產能化解和存量盤活,培育新產業、新業態、新商業模式,服務大眾創業、萬眾創新,激發經濟增長新動力。

從資源配置和資本形成角度來說,養老金入市可以將當期儲蓄的一部分轉化為長期資金,由專業機構配置於股票、債券,或直接投資於公司股權或資產,追求長期穩健收益,自發地轉化為經濟增長所需的長期資本,從而提高了全社會金融資本的配置效率。

發展資本市場是中國的改革方向。讓我們共同努力,加快形成融資功能完備、基礎制度紮實、市場監管有效、投資者合法權益得到充分保護、公開透明、長期穩定健康發展的資本市場。

黃清
公會聯席成員
中國神華能源股份有限公司董秘

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