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Time zone differences no barrier to London-Shanghai link: LSE CEO

[BEIJING] The time difference between London and Shanghai should not be a barrier to linking the city's stock markets, a senior executive at the London Stock Exchange Group said on Tuesday.

Nikhil Rathi was responding to doubts raised by investors, brokers and other exchange executives over a proposed London-Shanghai trading link that would potentially mimic the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect scheme launched last year.

Stock Connect allows international investors to trade Shanghai stocks via the Hong Kong stock exchange, and for Chinese investors to trade Hong Kong stocks from Shanghai.

Critics of the proposed London-Shanghai link say a seven-hour time difference, which rises to eight hours between October and April, would make a similar mutual trading scheme unfeasible. "There are of course going to be issues to work through, but the other strength of London is we're a complementary time zone to Asian markets," said Rathi, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Plc, a subsidiary of the LSE Group, and its director of international development "That's something that's long been a great strength of the London market," he told reporters in Beijing.

Last week, the chief executive of the Hong Kong stock exchange operator Charles Li told Reuters that the Stock Connect model "may not work out of time zone setting".

The British and Chinese governments announced in September that they had asked the LSE Group and Shanghai Stock Exchange to launch a feasibility study into a link.

Rathi declined to give details on the proposed link, but said the feasibility study was still underway.