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China / Business

London pushes for Shanghai stock link

By Cecily Liu In London (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-06 07:41

London's financial community wants the proposed Shanghai-London Stock Connect plan to go ahead, insisting the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union will not make the London Stock Exchange's listings less attractive to Chinese investors.

They reasoned that London's tougher listing rules compared with EU rules would make the exchange more attractive to high-quality new listings, and London is unlikely to lose its strength as a financial center post-Brexit.

The plan, already the subject of a feasibility study by the LSE, faced delay, according to the South China Morning Post on June 27, because the Chinese regulator - the China Securities Regulatory Commission - was having doubts over Brexit.

The SCMP quoted an anonymous fund manager as saying the plan to go ahead soon with the scheme has been affected, and it would take some time before regulators could consider launching the plan.

The Hong Kong paper also quoted Que Bo, a deputy general manager of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, as saying that Brexit would be a "complicated issue" and the local bourse would enlist the help of other parties to further study and assess the situation.

The LSE has confirmed the feasibility study is continuing.

Charles Bond, a partner at law firm Gowling WLG, said he expects most major multinational firms to continue to be dual-listed in London and New York.

"Importantly, European stocks will still be listed here in London, thereby ensuring that London remains a relevant and viable investment platform," Bond said.

Andrew Monk, CEO of VSA Capital, a London-based boutique investment bank, said that Brexit could even increase European companies' desire to list in London, which has tougher listing rules than the EU.

Monk said earlier that the LSE was forced to split its main board into premium listings and standard listings - the former reflecting the requirements of its own tougher criteria and the latter standard listings satisfying only EU regulations.

The stock connect, initially discussed between the UK and Chinese governments in 2015, follows the footsteps of a similar stock market connects between Shanghai with Hong Kong.

Those eager to see the Connect established cite numerous benefits for investors of both markets.

Alei Duan, managing director of the London advisor Abridge Capital International, said he expects British investors to benefit from access to China's highly liquid stock market, while Chinese investors could have more investment choice through access to London's leading international stock market.

cecily.liu@mail.chinadailyuk.com

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