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Shenzhen-HK stock link 'likely in second quarter'

By Li Xiang | China Daily | Updated: 2016-04-28 08:30

The Chinese mainland will likely announce the launch of the much-anticipated stock trading link between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong exchanges in the second quarter of the year, further opening the mainland's stock market to overseas investors, a senior analyst at UBS Securities said on Wednesday.

If the link is launched this year, it would mean that about 70 percent of market capitalization of the A shares will be available to overseas investors who already gained access to the mainland market through the existing Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, said Gao Ting, chief China equities strategist at UBS Securities.

The link will broaden investors' stock selection in the mainland as the Shenzhen market, unlike Shanghai, is home to many high-tech, innovative companies and private firms with high growth potential, Gao said.

"The trading link will increase the investment opportunities for overseas investors in sectors including healthcare, consumption, material and information technology," he said at a news conference in Beijing.

Premier Li Keqiang said in March that the central government will seek to launch the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect this year.

Bloomberg reported earlier citing people familiar with the matter that the launch of the trading link may be announced before July. It quoted a spokesman for the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd as saying that a preparatory period of three to four months will be needed following the announcement of regulatory approval.

While overseas investors can already invest in the mainland's stock market under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors program, the launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect still holds symbolic significance as it will signal a further opening of the capital market, analysts said.

Zhao Wenli, an analyst at China Merchants Securities (HK) Co Ltd, said in a research note that good quality and reasonably priced small and mid-cap stocks under the trading link will attract greater attention from foreign investors.

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