China: 科创板市场包容性运行机制构建的若干建议

Last Updated: 26 March 2019
Article by DeHeng Law Offices
Most Read Contributor in China, March 2019

近期以来,上海证券交易所拟设立的科创板市场引起了市场各方的强烈关注。科创板市场被寄予厚望,有关的规则正在紧锣密鼓的制定之中。

包容性是科创板市场的一大特点,科创板规则的制定及其运行都应体现其包容性的特征。笔者认为,在包容性方面,要避免两个极端,一是过度监管和运行机制的僵化,二是无监管和无序。关键是要在上述两个极端之间找到平衡,确保市场运行灵活有序,发挥资本市场的应有功能。这需要靠设定合理的科创板市场的运行机制来实现。

笔者现结合近年来从事资本市场法律服务的经验和个人观察,从以下五个方面对科创板市场包容性运行机制的构建提出建议。

一、规则制定应宽严适度

从已有的报道看,科创板市场拟通过设立多套首发上市标准的方式来增强科创板市场的包容性和灵活性,以使更多的符合科创板定位的企业具有登陆科创板的资格。为避免过多的企业拥入科创板,科创板市场将要求发行人为"硬科技"企业。所谓硬科技,是以人工智能、航空航天、生物技术、光电芯片、信息技术、新材料、新能源、智能制造等为代表的高精尖科技。该类技术是需要长期研发投入、持续积累才能形成的原创技术。通过该等定位,可以树立科创板上市公司业务和技术特征。

笔者认为,除了设置多套首发上市标准外,科创板的其他软性准入条件也不应设置过严,应与科技创新型企业的自身运行特征和整个社会的制度规则遵循情况保持协调。近年以来,随着全社会法治意识的提高,中国法律规则运行中有时存在的"高标准立法、普遍性违法、选择性执法"的现象被广泛诟病。在科创板准入标准的制定中应尽力避免类似问题,不应试图以将科创板上市企业作为模范企业的目标来设定标准。否则,将可能导致以下问题:(1)为了满足准入条件,企业削足适履,进行虚假的信息披露;(2)相关市场主体选择性的遵守规则,将导致市场主体缺乏对规则的敬畏之心,与该等规则设立的目的背道而驰。

就企业的业务合规性而言,笔者建议,应将企业业务经营中的重大违法行为作为负面清单,不再将企业业务经营合法合规作为首发上市条件。这一建议的主要理由如下:(1)有些企业的业务领域可能尚不存在相应的法律规范,该等情形下,企业业务本身处于无法可依境地,而根据私法领域"法不禁止即可为"的原则,企业的业务经营活动虽未有法可合,但亦并不违法;(2)从现有的法律规则运行情况来看,完全合法合规的企业较少。设定"企业业务合法合规"的严苛标准,将会使企业不得不做虚假信息披露;(3)相当一部分企业存在其小部分业务与当前法律规则存在一定冲突的情况,该等企业有时不得不选择境外上市,仅以小部分业务有不合规情况而将该类企业拒之门外并不是科创板市场的应有之意。

如将企业业务经营须合法合规作为条件,也将可能并不会被严格遵守,这将会损害规则的权威性。如《全国中小企业股份转让系统股票挂牌条件适用基本标准指引》中即列有以下挂牌条件:"公司及下属子公司业务须遵守法律、行政法规和规章的规定"。严格而言,申请挂牌的公司或下属子公司如未取得有关许可证照或办理相关手续的,即为业务未遵守法律、行政法规和规章的规定,会导致该等企业不符合挂牌条件。但仍有自身或下属子公司未取得经营所需的许可证照的企业在新三板挂牌的案例,这说明前述规定并没有被严格遵守。

当然,不将企业业务合法合规作为首发上市条件,并非鼓励企业从事违法违规行为。对于企业业务经营中存在的不合法不合规之处,仍应遵照披露原则要求企业予以披露,其好处有以下三点:(1)让投资者判断该等不合法不合规对企业发展的风险,以决定是否投资;(2)让企业接受公众的评判和监督,以间接促进企业合规运作;(3)使相关监管部门了解相关法律的遵循情况,促使该等监管部门采取执法行动,或者提出修法建议。

二、发行审核应找准定位

现有的业务板块首发上市审核的定位并不足够清晰。在实际操作中,审核往往不仅仅是对信息披露、发行条件的符合性审核,有时还包含着对企业发展前景作实质性预测和判断的情况,亦会导致审核偏离"信息披露"的主线。实践中,由于审核人员个人对企业运行的设想和理解与实际情况存在差异,常致使企业在披露信息时左右为难,以致有企业创始人在上市庆祝酒会上大倒苦水。

科创板企业的审核应明确审核定位、审核内容和审核方式,提升审核的效率和价值,具体而言:

(1)审核应定位于促进企业做真实、准确、完整的信息披露,通过该等信息披露,为投资者提供决策所需的信息,并判断企业是否符合发行上市条件,而非为了对企业发展前景作实质性的判断。

(2)审核内容应为企业的信息披露,依据企业的信息披露判断企业是否符合首发上市条件。信息披露涉及到投资者能否获得投资决策所需的信息,而是否符合发行上市条件决定了企业是否符合准入条件,除此之外不应再随意扩大审核的范围。

(3)审核的方式应为形式审核,而非实质审核。具体而言,应系对企业披露的信息作形式性的审核,即仅审核企业所申报材料的完整性、一致性、合理性、合逻辑性,对企业所披露材料的真实性、准确性不做实质性审核。

对于仅进行形式审核无法发现企业欺诈等形式审核的弊病,应通过后端的严格的执法机制、退市机制倒逼企业做真实的、准确的信息披露。

因此,在对首发上市进行审核时,要围绕上述审核定位、审核内容和审核方式,设定审核的边界,防止审核范围过宽过广。企业运行涉及方面较多,如果不设定审核边界,将会导致审核范围过宽,审核效率低下,亦将增加企业的首发上市成本,影响科创板市场的竞争力。

三、责任追究应严惩不贷

包容并不意味着对违反资本市场秩序行为的纵容,包容必须建立在对违反资本市场秩序行为的严厉的责任追究的基础之上。否则,投资者将无法得到有效的保护,以至最终丧失对市场的信心。

近年来,监管部门着力强化了中介机构的职责和责任追究,加大了对当事人违法行为的打击力度,对违法违规起到了一定的震慑作用,但是现有的对当事人的处罚力度仍略显不足。就行政处罚而言,《证券法》目前规定的对于欺诈发行的负责的主管人员和其他直接责任人员罚款的上限仅为60万元;就刑事处罚而言,现行《刑法》对于犯欺诈发行股票罪的单位的直接负责的主管人员和其他直接责任人员的刑罚为五年以下有期徒刑或者拘役。截至目前,因欺诈发行而受到刑事处罚的案例也屈指可数。这样的处罚力度(尤其是仅考虑行政罚款数额而言),相比于行为人因违法行为可以获得的巨大利益而言,显得微不足道。因此,当前的法定的处罚力度对于当事人违法意愿的遏制和震慑效果比较有限,很难有效发挥处罚机制对违法行为的预防作用。

鉴于以上,笔者建议,除了强化中介机构的职责和责任追究外,应加重对欺诈行为人的处罚。当前,首要的任务是尽快修改《证券法》《刑法》的相关责任和刑罚条款,对有欺诈意图的当事人形成有力震慑。其次,强化执法力度,做到执法必严,违法必究,打消行为人的侥幸心理。否则,如同只处罚保安而不严惩盗贼并不能高效率打击和预防盗窃一样,只强化中介机构的责任而不对当事人施以严格惩罚,将无法高效率的打击和预防欺诈发行。

四、退市机制应严格执行

实行企业退市制度是资本市场的规模有限所决定的,严格的退市制度有利于疏导有限的资金流向优秀的企业,提升投资者发现和选择优秀企业的效率。如缺乏严格的退市制度,市场上企业将会鱼龙混杂,不利于优秀企业获得所需的资金,甚至产生劣币驱逐良币的效应。

在境外成熟的资本市场中,企业退市是一种常态。美国学者CraigDoidge、G.Andrew Karolyi和RenéM.Stulz于2016年对美国资本市场在1975到2012年间的新上市和退市的情况进行了统计[1],统计结果显示,1975年美国资本市场的上市公司数量为4,775家,1996年上市公司数量为7,322家(峰值),2012年上市公司数量下降至3,605家,各时间段新上市公司数量、退市数量和相关比例如下:

时间

上市/退市数量

上市/退市比例

新上市

退市

其中

新上市

退市

其中

并购

退市

强制

退市

自愿

退市

并购

退市

强制

退市

自愿

退市

1975
-
1996

11,387

8,976

4,792

4,021

163

9.22%

7.29%

3.29%

3.25%

0.13%

1997
-
2012

4,535

8,327

4,957

3,099

271

5.06%

9.49%

5.64%

3.50%

0.35%

1975
-
2012

15,922

17,303

9,749

7,120

434

7.47%

8.22%

4.64%

3.35%

0.22%

上述学者对美国境外的71个国家和地区的资本市场在1990年到2012年间的上市和退市情况进行了统计[2],统计结果显示,在该等国家和地区的资本市场中,1990年上市公司数量为9,939家,上市公司数量总体上呈上升趋势,至2012年上市公司数量为23,933家,相关时间段新上市公司数量、退市数量和相关比例如下:

时间

上市/退市数量

上市/退市比例

新上市

退市

新上市

退市

1990
-
1996

8,864

2,645

9.42%

2.85%

1997
-
2012

20,558

14,375

6.04%

4.14%

1990
-
2012

29,362

17,020

7.07%

3.75%

科创板市场也应借鉴境外资本市场的成功经验,设定良性的退市机制并严格执行,形成优胜劣汰机制。对欺诈上市的公司实行退市,也有利于降低欺诈上市的意愿,预防欺诈上市的违法行为。

五、核心原则是尊重市场和现实

规则制定和发行审核中的有关机制设计是在前端具体操作层面实现包容性的有效措施,而追究责任、退市机制则是为了去除包容性可能产生的负面因素。两者结合,方能确保科创板实现效率与公平的统一,包容与秩序的统一。

在制定规则和审核中,要坚持市场化,尊重市场。当前业界普遍认为,市场化是科创板必须坚持的原则之一。要做到包容性就必须坚持市场化,尊重市场,减少行政干预。科创板如果偏离市场化,将会重走其他板块市场的老路,失去了推行科创板的意义。国务院金融稳定发展委员会办公室于2018年12月20日召开的召开资本市场改革与发展座谈会也指出"要坚决落实市场化原则,减少对交易的行政干预"。要相信,市场作用会比监管更能长效、更健康。

在制定规则和审核中,要尊重现实。这种现实包括中国资本市场的现实状况、企业的运行规律、中国经济的运行状况。如果脱离现实制定规则和对企业发行上市进行审核,科创板市场将无法获得参与方的认可,因为其不符合实际情况,自然无法发挥其应有的功能。

我们相信,本着尊重市场、尊重现实的原则,相关方将能够为科创板市场设计出合理的运行机制,实现科创板市场包容和秩序的统一、效率和公平的统一。

文中注释

[1] CraigDoidge, G Andrew Karolyi, René M. Stulz, The U.S. listing gap,available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2605000 .

[2] 同上。

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Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

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