Nasdaq to tighten listing rules, restricting Chinese IPOs: sources

Nasdaq is set to unveil new limits on initial public offerings, or IPOs, making it harder for Chinese companies to list on its stock exchange.

That's according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with Reuters on Monday (May 18)

They say Nasdaq will not cite Chinese companies in the changes.

But the move is driven largely by concerns over some Chinese IPO hopefuls' lack of accounting transparency and close ties to powerful insiders.

The changes come after a scandal over Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee.

It launched one of last year's biggest U.S. IPOs.

Then in April, it admitted its CEO and others fabricated $310 million dollars worth of sales.

The new Nasdaq rules will require companies from some places, including China, to raise $25 million in their IPO, or at least a quarter of the value of the company once listed.

This would mark the first time Nasdaq has put a minimum value on listings and the changes would have prevented dozens of previous IPOs.

Around a quarter of Chinese companies listed on the Nasdaq since 2000 grossed less than the new minimum amount, according to Refinitiv data.

Smaller Chinese firms pursue U.S. listings because it lets their founders and backers cash out with U.S. dollars, currency they can't easily obtain because of Beijing's limits on money leaving the country.

Last week, President Donald Trump told Fox Business that he was looking quote 'very strongly' at requiring Chinese firms that list in New York to follow U.S. accounting standards.

But he noted the problem was that they could decide to list in London or Hong Kong instead.