Companies surge on day one of trade on China's own Nasdaq style market

(Left)A sign for STAR Market, China's new Nasdaq-style tech board, is seen before the listing ceremony of the first batch of companies at Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) in Shanghai, China July 22, 2019. (Right) People attend the signing ceremony of the first batch of companies on STAR Market, China's new Nasdaq-style tech board, at Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) in Shanghai, China July 21, 2019

SHANGHAI: China's new Nasdaq-style board for homegrown technology firms started trading on Monday, with most of the stocks surging in their debut.

Most of the first batch of 25 companies - ranging from chip-makers to biotech firms - climbed quickly in early trade on the STAR Market, operated by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Zhangjiang Hangke Technology Inc <688006.SS> was the first company to hit an upper-limit circuit breaker designed to temporarily halt trading in a bid to calm frenzied buying, climbing 30% from the market open.

Suzhou Harmontronics Automation Technology Co Ltd <688022.SS>, however, triggered its circuit breaker in the opposite direction, falling 30% from the market open.

SSE said that an index tracking the STAR Market will be launched on the 11th trading day following the debut of the 30th company on the board.

Modelled after Nasdaq, and complete with a U.S-style IPO system, STAR may be China's boldest attempt at capital market reforms yet. It is also seen driven by Beijing's ambition to become technologically self-reliant as a prolonged trade war with Washington catches Chinese tech firms in the cross-fire.

Even veterans of China's notoriously volatile stock markets had braced for a wild opening day on the new board, after initial public offerings (IPOs) were oversubscribed by an average of about 1,700 times among retail investors. - Reuetrs
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