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Environmental Agency Delays 10 Chinese IPOs

Several major Chinese companies were forced to delay initial public offerings last year to comply with environmental rules, the State Environmental Protection Administration said, underlining the growing importance of financial levers for the agency as it struggles to rein in pollution. Ten domestic IPOs -- including one by China Coal Energy...-- were held back in the second half of 2007, after the government began vetting such deals for environmental factors... While most of those offerings were later approved, two companies, including Zijin Mining Group Co., still haven't won regulatory approval, SEPA said... The delays in getting to market illustrate how the increasingly active environmental agency is working with other parts of China's government -- in this case the securities regulator -- to stem worsening pollution...SEPA is now increasingly targeting purse strings. It is trying to persuade banks and financial regulators to make environmental performance an important part of getting loans or access to capital markets... SEPA said it delayed approval for reasons including excessive emissions, insufficient waste-treatment plants or outstanding pollution lawsuits against the companies or their subsidiaries. SEPA didn't detail the changes made by companies to win approval to go ahead with their IPOs... The other companies whose IPO approvals SEPA said it had delayed were: Hebei Veyong Bio-Chemical Co., Guangdong Wangxing Inorganic Dyestuff Co., Guangdong Tapai Group Co., Shandong Chenming Paper Group, Gansu Qilianshan Cement Co., Long Yuan Construction Group, Sichuan Nitrocell Corp., and Anhui Conch Cement Co.