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NASDAQ gets China on board

By Zhang Ran | China Daily | Updated: 2007-09-06 06:26

China's booming economy and innovative enterprises have created a competition among overseas exchanges to lure the country's companies for listing.

In just the first five months of this year, 10 companies have listed on NASDAQ.

NASDAQ has so far attracted over 40 Chinese companies with a combined capitalization of more than $30 billion. To attract more Chinese companies to list on NASDAQ, the electronic bourse introduced the NASDAQ China Index in the second quarter of the year to track the performance of Chinese companies listed in the United States.

Initially, the index will comprise 30 companies with a combined market capitalization of more than $600 billion and are listed on NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the American Stock Exchange.

"It will be a key benchmark to track the performances of innovative companies that have stimulated China's rapidly growing economy," NASDAQ President and CEO Bob Greifeld said in Beijing during his visit to Beijing in April.

The CEO also opened the New York-based electronic exchange from China for the first time by ringing the ceremonial bell on April 2.

Greifeld's visit to Beijing was seen as a response to NASDAQ's biggest rival, the NYSE Group, whose head rang a ceremonial bell in Paris the same week to celebrate its merger with Euronext - a deal that created the first transatlantic bourse.

The NYSE Group completed its $14.3 billion purchase of Paris-based Euronext NV after fending off rival Deutsche Boerse AG's bid and outmaneuvering NASDAQ, which also failed in its attempt to acquire the London Stock Exchange.

"We focus with great intensity on competition with NYSE. We are in the process of taking a part of the floor of the NYSE 'board by board'," Greifeld said on his China trip, adding that investors want to trade on an "efficient electronic structure" rather than "an inefficient floor structure".

The NASDAQ president expressed confidence in Chinese companies, indicating the exchange would be the ultimate winner for having embraced the "future".

"NASDAQ and China have both enjoyed tremendous economic growth over the past decades, so our celebration truly commemorates our success. And more importantly, it's a statement on our future opportunities together," he said.

(China Daily 09/06/2007 page59)

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