China's securities regulator has for the first time published a full list of Chinese companies that have applied for an initial public offering on the Shanghai or Shenzhen markets, in a move aimed at boosting transparency of the system.
The list, published on the watchdog's website late on Wednesday, included more than 500 companies, such as state-owned giant China Postal Express & Logistics Co, TPG-backed China Grand Auto and more than a dozen city commercial banks.
However, it was still unclear when many of these deals would hit the market.
After submitting an IPO application, companies typically need to wait for about six months before obtaining the regulatory nod for a listing, but the process could be as long as two years, depending on the quality of application as well as market conditions, analysts say.
Until now, it was unclear when companies had submitted their applications.
Under the current system, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) will post a copy of the draft prospectus on its website along with a date for when the IPO plan would be reviewed.
Once a company has received regulatory approval, it must launch the IPO within six months.
For a list of key Chinese IPOs in the pipeline see .
The publishing of the list, which will be updated weekly, is seen as part of efforts by the CSRC, under its newly-appointed Chairman Guo Shuqing, to improve the country's IPO mechanism and transparency.
The list showed that 295 companies have applied to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange or Shenzhen's small and medium enterprise board (SME board), while another 220 firms are seeking floatations on Shenzhen's Nasdaq-style ChiNext board.
For a list of companies, click on: http://www.csrc.gov.cn/pub/zjhpublic/cyb/201202/t20120201_205252
.htm More than 250 Chinese companies raised $41.5 billion via initial public offerings on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges in 2011, down 41 percent compared with 2010, data from Thomson Reuters showed.
Many analysts expect the total size of the fundraising to remain roughly the same in 2012, and to be dominated by smaller deals.
The CSRC's IPO list also included 14 city commercial banks, such as Bank of Shanghai and Bank of Hangzhou, as well as second-tier brokerage Guosen Securities.
Several Hong Kong-listed companies, such as China National Building Materials Co <3323.HK> and R&F Properties <2777.HK> are also seeking mainland listings, it showed.
The list did not give the companies' fundraising targets but some, including China Postal Express, the country's largest integrated express and logistics service provider, and China Grand Auto, the country's biggest passenger car dealer, could potentially raise more than 10 billion yuan ($1.59 billion) each from their planned IPOs, estimates based on their public financial information showed.
($1 = 6.3067 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)