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Chinese companies pull out of U.S. stock markets

(AP) BEIJING - Just a few years after Chinese companies lined up to sell shares on Wall Street, a growing number are reversing course and pulling out of U.S. exchanges.

This week, Focus Media Holding Ltd., announced a $3.5 billion plan to buy back its U.S.-traded shares and take the Shanghai-based advertising company private.

Smaller companies also are withdrawing from U.S. exchanges. A state bank has provided $1 billion in loans to help them move to domestic exchanges.

The withdrawals follow accusations of improper accounting by some companies and a deadlock between Beijing and Washington over whether U.S. regulators can oversee their China-based auditors.

Some Chinese companies say they are pulling out of U.S. markets because a low share price fails to reflect the strength of their business.