SHANGHAI, January 4 - China said Monday it would soon launch a stock index covering 500 firms listed in the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan to enhance financial cooperation in the Greater China region.
China Securities Index Co, established by the mainland's two bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen, will start to publish the CSI Cross-Straits 500 Index on January 18, the company said in a statement.
With the signature of three memoranda of understanding between China and Taiwan in November, "the cooperation in financial sectors across the straits is now entering a substantial phase," it said.
The documents -- on banking, insurance and securities -- are expected to help pave the way for Taiwan's finance industry to gain greater access to the huge mainland market and open up the possibility of more investment activity.
The new index "caters to investors' need to observe and invest in markets in the three places and provides a basic instrument for developing index-related products and derivatives," according to the statement.
A number of domestic and overseas institutions are making "proactive" preparations to develop investment products based on the new index for the Greater China region, it added, without giving more details.
The company will publish the index denominated in Chinese yuan, US dollars, Hong Kong dollars and Taiwan dollars, and the components will have a combined market value of around 3.2 trillion yuan (468.5 billion dollars).
It covers 75 percent of the total market capitalisation of the stock markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and 53 percent of the combined trading volume.