Nation to launch Shenzhen-HK stock link: Li

2016-03-17 01:13:47 GMT2016-03-17 09:13:47(Beijing Time)  Global Times

Program will help mainland, Hong Kong financial cooperation

The Chinese government is striving to launch the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program this year, Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference Wednesday.

According to Li, China has accumulated rich experience from the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program.

"Practice has proved that such stock connect programs will benefit both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland," Li noted at the conference.

Li's comment followed vows from officials at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Tuesday that they hope to create the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect this year.

The program will allow investors to trade on both bourses under a quota system and is seen as a move toward a closer relationship between the financial markets of Hong Kong and the mainland, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the CSRC, said at a press conference hosted by the State Council Information Office (SCIO) on Tuesday.

China established the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in November 2014 to further open the mainland capital market to the outside world. It has operated steadily since its launch, paving the way for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is just part of the plan for intensifying mainland-Hong Kong financial cooperation, Hu Zucai, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the same Tuesday briefing.

Hu also stressed Hong Kong's important role in the One Belt, One Road initiative, adding that the central government will unswervingly support Hong Kong in consolidating and elevating its position as an international financial, shipping and trade center.

"Hong Kong, the biggest offshore renminbi trading center, could enhance its position as an international financial center by making contributions to help the yuan go global," Han Wenxiu, vice director of the Research Office of the State Council, said at the same occasion.

Moreover, "Hong Kong will benefit from the mainland's restructuring and pro-growth measures," Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming told the SCIO press conference.

News of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong program comes as the mainland stock markets continue to pick up slightly after slumping more than 15 percent in January.

On Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.21 percent to 2,870 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index was down 1.1 percent to 9,469.03 points.

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