China’s new stock venue designed for technology startups got off to a positive start on Monday as all 25 stocks rose on their debut.
Anji Microelectronics Technology (Shanghai) Co. was among the top performers, rising as much as 329% before paring gains. Endorsement from top officials helped generate such enthusiasm that firms on the board raised a combined $5.4 billion, about 20% more than planned. Demand from retail investors has outstripped supply by an average 1,800 times, even as some analysts voiced concern over lofty valuations.
Modeled after the Nasdaq Stock Market in the U.S., the so-called STAR board is China’s latest attempt to avoid losing the next Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. or Tencent Holdings Ltd. to exchanges in New York or Hong Kong. It’s also a testing ground for regulators, who have waived rules on valuations and first-day price limits for the first time since 2014. The venue will be the first in China to welcome companies that have yet to make a profit, as well as shares with unequal voting rights.