[SHANGHAI] A landmark Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect scheme is in its "final stage", an official newspaper on Thursday quoted a senior official at China's securities regulator as saying, amid concern after its launch date was missed.
Yao Gang, the deputy chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, made the comments at a meeting Thursday morning, according to an online report by Shanghai Securities News. The report did not elaborate.
The stock connect scheme, a milestone in the liberalisation of China's capital markets, had been expected to go live on Monday.
It is aimed at allowing global investors to trade China shares via Hong Kong for the first time, while giving mainland investors access to Hong Kong-listed stocks.
On Wednesday, Ashley Alder, chief executive of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, said his agency had completed all regulatory steps needed for the launch and hoped trading would start in the "not too distant future".
Separately, Bo Que, executive vice-president of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, told Reuters on Wednesday he was not aware of when the launch would be, saying it was up to the regulators.
One key issue that has not been clarified publicly is how investors will be taxed. Hong Kong does not charge capital-gains tax, but China levies 10 per cent, as well as a 5.6 per cent tax on business profits.