AIM archery.jpgNetDimensions, a HK-based company specialised in learning management software and recently featured in EngagingChina, plans to become the latest China play to list on AIM, London's junior market.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the company chose London
over Nasdaq because AIM's listing requirements are much less onerous
than those of Nasdaq, even though NetDimensions gets twice as much
revenue from the US market as from Europe.

More than 50 Chinese companies are now listed on AIM, with several
more on the main LSE market. By contrast, the NYSE has just 24, the
latest being Tongjitang Chinese Medicines Company which listed last month.

Xinhua reports
on how the west's exchanges are beating a path to China to attract
fast-growing IPO business from Chinese firms. In 2005, 81 Chinese
companies raised just over $20bn from overseas IPOs, while in 2006, the
amount raised, by 86 firms, more than doubled to $44bn, accounting for
19% of the world total.

The attractiveness of US exchanges for small Asian companies seeking
an IPO in the west has diminished because of the perception that
getting and maintaining a US listing is costly and time-consuming. By
contrast, the ease with which Chinese start-ups with little track
record can can list on London's AIM has led critics to dub it the “Wild
West” exchange.

EngagingChina wrote about NetDimensions here and about the attractions of London's AIM market here and here.

Elsewhere on the investment front:

  • Deutsche Boerse, the company behind the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, has signed a partnership agreement
    with Tianjin Property Rights Exchange, a trading platform created to
    help privatise state-owned companies. DB already has similar agreement
    with China Securities, a JV between the Shanghai and Shenzhen
    exchanges. Last month, Gongyou Machines Ltd became the first Chinese
    company to benefit from this new spirit of rapprochement and obtain a listing in Germany. More on the TPRE here.

  • In another sign of the opening of China's stock exchanges, the
    Shanghai Stock Exchange is considering taking a leaf out of the book of
    western exchanges by seeking its own listing. The move could pave the
    way to Shanghai buying its smaller rival Shenzhen Stock Exchange, argues the Financial Times ($)
  • Beijing-based China Citic Bank is seeking to raise up to $5.7bn from a simultaneous IPO in HK and Shanghai, making it the largest public offering
    so far this year. Citic is the latest in a growing line of mainland
    banks looking to raise their profile with international investors
    through a HK listing. Spain's BBVA has a 5% stake in Citic Bank and
    plans to buy new shares to keep its holding at similar level. Citic
    Bank is 80% owned by Citic, China's state holding company.

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