By Emily Bary
U.S. had been threatening to delist foreign companies whose audit papers couldn't be inspected
U.S-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Nio Inc. were among Chinese names trading higher in morning action Friday after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has struck an agreement with Chinese securities regulators and the country's ministry of finance regarding the inspection of auditors based in China and Hong Kong.
The U.S. had been threatening to eventually delist foreign companies whose audit paperwork couldn't be inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, but SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a Friday statement that the agreement "marks the first time we have received such detailed and specific commitments from China that they would allow PCAOB inspections and investigations meeting U.S. standards."
See more: SEC says it's reached agreement to allow inspections of Chinese audit firms
U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba (9988.HK), which cracked the delisting watchlist recently, were up 1% in morning trading after gaining sharply in Thursday's session following a Wall Street Journal report saying such an agreement was imminent.
U.S.-listed shares of Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) was up more than 5%, while shares of iQiyi Inc. (IQ) were up more than 4%. American depositary receipts for JD.com Inc. (JD) and Baidu Inc. (K3SD.SG) were ahead more than 1%.
Nio's ADRs (NIO) were up more than 3%. Separately, the Chinese electric-vehicle maker said Friday that an independent review of allegations from a short seller was nearly done, and that review didn't substantiate the negative claims.
DouYu International Holdings Ltd.'s (DOYU) were up more than 5%.
While the SEC's agreement with Chinese regulators offers some hope to U.S. investors worried about a potential delisting of Chinese stocks, the arrangement doesn't remove the threat completely.
"This agreement will be meaningful only if the PCAOB actually can inspect and investigate completely audit firms in China," Gensler said in his statement. "If it cannot, roughly 200 China-based issuers will face prohibitions on trading of their securities in the U.S. if they continue to use those audit firms."
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 26, 2022 10:21 ET (14:21 GMT)
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