China to become Nasdaq's biggest overseas market

Updated: 2007-05-16 15:25

The rapidly growning number of Chinese companies listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market means they are likely to soon account for the most non-U.S. companies on the exchange, said Eric Landheer, Nasdaq's head of Asia Pacific, on Tuesday.

"China is the largest overseas market second to Israel, soon to overtake Israel in term of listings. So we're optimistic that China will continue to be a growth engine for Nasdaq," said Landheer, who was recently given the task of luring more companies to the Nasdaq from the Asia-Pacific region.

While Landheer declined to give a forecast on how many new Chinese listings would take place on the Nasdaq this year, he said that in the first quarter alone seven Chinese companies listed. There are now 41 Chinese mainland companies listed on the Nasdaq, he said.

According to Nasdaq data, nine Chinese companies listed there last year. Nasdaq said Tuesday that 68 Israeli companies are listed on its exchange.

"The pipeline looks very strong," Landheer said at a conference in Shanghai to promote Nasdaq listings to Chinese companies.

Landheer, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, is based in London, but spends an average of two weeks every month in Asia to meet and serve existing Nasdaq-listed companies, visit companies interested in listing, and try to lure companies already listed on competing markets.

As part of its efforts to attract Chinese companies, Nasdaq has signed memorandums of understanding with the governments of Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces to steer more listings in its direction. A similar memorandum has also been signed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Landheer said.

Landheer said Nasdaq is working closely with Chinese authorities to open a representative office, most likely in Beijing. "We're optimistic that we'll be able to move forward relatively quickly," he said.

Landheer said he isn't concerned about the booming Chinese markets taking away potential business, or reports that the Chinese regulator is pushing for local listings over foreign ones.

"Our goal is to cooperate with the local markets and help them develop," he said.

Second to China in Asia, India had strong potential, Landheer said.

"(India's) local markets are very mature but there are quite a few companies evaluating overseas listings," he said.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours