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    HKEX eyes bigger role in Asian-time investment

    By Tan Xinyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-02-28 16:05
    Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is pictured on Dec 1, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

    The operator of Hong Kong stock exchange, the third-largest bourse in Asia, is set to provide more diversified products and services in the next three years to facilitate its gateway role for investment in and out of Chinese mainland, as it eyes to be the global markets leader in the Asian time zone, according to its Strategic Plan 2019-2021 unveiled Thursday.

    With its three focuses — China anchored, Globally Connected and Technology Empowered, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing aims to " increase our international relevance to China and Asia, and our Asia relevance to the global markets" .

    Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen Connect, set up in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and Bond Connect, launched in 2017, enable international investors access Chinese mainland markets via the HKEX, and mainland investors access Hong Kong's capital markets.

    HKEX said in the plan that it will extend its product coverage to more stocks, ETFs, listed bonds and primary issuance, and work with onshore regulators to introduce stock borrowing and lending for southbound holdings and to allow short-selling by northbound capital under existing mechanism on the onshore markets.

    Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said at a press briefing Thursday that shares on the upcoming science and technology innovation board will be most likely traded through northbound trading, Securities Times reported.

    Also, HKEX will roll out A-share futures products for hedging of China A-shares by international investors, thereby enable an increase in China A-shares' weighting in international benchmark indices.

    Since April, the bourse has allowed new economy companies with dual-class shares and biotech firms without revenue to go public in Hong Kong, while easing requirements for overseas-listed Chinese firms to have a secondary listing in the city.

    Li was expected to include dual-class shares into Stock Connect in July, adding related regulations were still under discussion, according Hong Kong Economic Journal on Thursday.

    Wednesday's financial results of HKEX showed that the 2018 profit surged 26 percent to a record high, reaching HK$9.3 billion ($1.18 billion), which was driven by fees from a number of large IPOs in the first part of the year as well as clearing fees and strong trading.

    Hong Kong claimed the crown as the No 1 IPO market in the world last year, beating New York.

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