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Chinese language and U.S. flags flutter outdoors the constructing of an American firm in Beijing, China January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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HONG KONG, Could 6 (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese language regulatory officers are in talks to settle a long-running dispute over the auditing compliance of U.S.-listed Chinese language corporations, three folks briefed on the matter advised Reuters.

The standoff, if not resolved, might see Chinese language corporations kicked off New York bourses.

The U.S. Public Firm Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) denied an earlier Reuters report that mentioned a workforce from the company had arrived in Beijing for talks.

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This week the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) added over 80 corporations, together with e-commerce big (9618.HK) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (600028.SS) to the checklist of corporations dealing with attainable expulsion. learn extra

The talks between officers from the PCAOB and their counterparts on the China Securities Regulatory Fee (CSRC) will be described as “late stage” after China made concessions in current months, the folks mentioned.

However a PCAOB spokesperson mentioned, “Current studies that PCAOB officers are at the moment in China, or that PCAOB officers have been in China earlier this yr to conduct face-to-face negotiations, are unfaithful. The PCAOB has not despatched any personnel to China since 2017.”

He mentioned the board continues to have interaction with the Chinese language authorities however “hypothesis a few closing settlement stays untimely.” Because of this, the PCAOB is planning “for varied situations”.

The CSRC on Friday didn’t reply straight on the standing of discussions. It referred Reuters to official statements from either side however didn’t specify which statements.

The sources requested to not be recognized because of the sensitivity of the problem.

Authorities in China have lengthy been reluctant to let abroad regulators examine native accounting corporations, citing nationwide safety issues.

However in a key concession, Chinese language regulators final month proposed revising confidentiality guidelines for offshore listings and scrapping necessities that on-site inspections of overseas-listed Chinese language corporations be carried out primarily by home regulators. learn extra

Sources advised Reuters final month {that a} preliminary framework for audit supervision cooperation between the 2 international locations has been fashioned. learn extra

The spat over audit oversight of New York-listed Chinese language corporations, simmering for greater than a decade, got here to a head in December when the SEC finalised guidelines to delist Chinese language corporations beneath the Holding Overseas Corporations Accountable Act. It mentioned there have been 273 corporations in danger however didn’t title them.

As of Friday, the PCAOB has recognized 128 Chinese language corporations as susceptible to being delisted.

The problem has been a significant factor dragging on American depositary receipts (ADRs) issued by Chinese language corporations, with the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index tumbling 57% over the previous 12 months.

Goldman Sachs estimated in March that U.S. institutional buyers held round $200 billion price of Chinese language ADRs.

Along with the concessions by Chinese language regulators, there have been different indicators {that a} deal is within the offing.

In late March, sources mentioned the CSRC requested a few of the nation’s U.S.-listed corporations, together with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK), Baidu Inc (9888.HK) and, to organize for extra audit disclosures. Late final month, Fang Xinghai, the CSRC’s vice chairman mentioned he anticipated a deal within the close to future.

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Reporting by Xie Yu; Extra reporting by Katanga Johnson in Washington, Selena Li in Hong Kong and Jing Xu in Beijing; Enhancing by Edwina Gibbs and William Mallard

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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