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Shenzhen-HK bourse link approved

By Hu Yongqi and Duan Ting | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2016-08-21 14:27

The State Council has given the green light to a long-awaited plan to connect a second mainland stock exchange with Hong Kong's, further opening China's capital market.

"Preparation for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect has been completed, and the State Council has approved the implementation plan for the program," Premier Li Keqiang said at a State Council executive meeting on Aug 16.

The move follows the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, adopted in 2014, which Li said has achieved the goals envisioned and earned positive feedback.

The addition of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is a major step toward opening up the two mainland markets, according to financial analysts.

The approval also shows the central government's support for Hong Kong's economy, says Liu Jipeng, a senior researcher at the China University of Political Science and Law.

China's top securities regulator said in a statement on Aug 16 that the overall trading quota of 550 billion yuan ($83 billion; 73.5 billion euros) will be removed under both the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock trading links with Hong Kong. The daily trading quota will remain, it said.

Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, says the move underscores regulators' confidence in the trading links, and the scrapping of the investment quota will help enlarge transaction volume.

The connection of the three exchanges will help more domestic and international investors use the Hong Kong market, and in turn help China's opening-up of its whole capital market, says Li Quan, CEO of Guoking (HK) Securities and Futures.

At the State Council meeting, Premier Li said: "Initiating the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, based on the successful pilot program of the Shanghai-Hong Kong connection, marks another steady step toward building a law-regulated capital market with international features, and renders positive significance in many areas."

The premier also said the launch of the new connection will help investors to better share the fruits of economic development on the Chinese mainland. In Hong Kong, it will help deepen the financial cooperation between them, and consolidate and boost Hong Kong's position as an international financial center, he said.

The new link is modeled after the Shanghai-Hong Kong connect, through which mainland investors can buy Hong Kong stocks, and vice versa.

The trade volume of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange reached 401 billion yuan on Aug 16, making the overall volume of the mainland's stock market more than 800 billion yuan.

The connect is expected to be launched before late December, according to Charles Li of Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing.

Cai Xiao contributed to this story.

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