The 'magic' power of capital markets for innovation

The Shanghai Stock Exchange's new sci-tech board is attracting strong interest. And most firms are profitable.

China’s surging capital markets, including the coming innovation board in Shanghai, are a “magic power” to help the city become a global science and technology center — Shanghai’s long-term strategic target — speakers told the 2019 Pujiang Innovation Forum yesterday.

Officials and executives from the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Science and Technology Center Equity Investment Fund, the Singapore Stock Exchange and Zhangjiang Group talked about the opportunities and connections between capital markets and innovation at the Science & Technology Finance Forum, a sub-forum of the Pujiang Forum.

The SSE has received 111 applications to list on the coming Tech Innovation Board, mainly from information technology and pharmaceutical firms. About 91 percent of those are profitable, said Liao Shiguang, deputy director of the Capital Market Research Institute of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

“It’s the magic power (of the capital market and the new board) to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship,” Liao said. “It’s a key part of Shanghai to establish itself as a global innovation center.”

Applicants’ revenue grew an average 42 percent year on year in 2018, more than double the growth of firms already listed in China, Liao said.

Among the more than 100 applicants for the new board, many of come from Zhangjiang, a high-tech industrial park in Shanghai, according to Zhangjiang Group.

Shanghai has established a city-level tech innovation fund, which has raised more than 6.5 billion yuan (US$956 million). It has invested in 30 sub-funds, and  over 100 startups.

The high-level investment fund brings not only capital, but a new ecosystem including investment, startups and city-level platforms to support innovation, said Kang Ming, president of the Shanghai Science and Technology Center Equity Investment Fund Management Co.

In the long term, the fund will raise up to 30 billion yuan, Kang said.

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