Major shareholders pledge not to dump Chinext shares this year

SHANGHAI, Sept 27: The main shareholders of 32 Chinese firms listed on Chinext, a Nasdaq-style board focused on small-cap firms, will extend their share lock-up period, in an apparent gesture to support domestic stock markets which have sagged on concerns of slower economic growth.

The extension of the share lock-up period to the end of this year encompasses 2.78 billion shares worth a combined 38.44 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) and was in accordance with guidance from regulators to help stabilise the market, state media said.

The pledge by shareholders, announced by the companies on Thursday, extends a three-year lock-period that was set to end in late October—a time which coincides with the third anniversary of the launch of Chinext on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Helped by the signs of regulatory support, the Chinext Composite Index climbed 1.1 percent in early trade on Thursday but is still down 8.2 percent so far this year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7 percent after falling to its lowest level in 3-1/2 years a day earlier.

Listed firms on Chinext gaining pledges from major shareholders included Nanfeng Ventilator Co Ltd and Shanghai Bestway Marine Engineering Design Co. (agencies)

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