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China aims for Shanghai- London trading link this year: PBOC chief

The move is part of a broader package of policies that will further open up the nation's financial sector

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Separately, Mr Yi also said China would raise from May 1 the daily limit for net buying to Hong Kong using the stock connects to 42 billion yuan from 10.5 billion yuan.

Shanghai

CHINA is aiming to start a stock trading tie-up between Shanghai and London this year, according to a top official, creating a system that would give investors in the world's most populous country direct access to shares listed in the UK.

The timing was announced by People's Bank of China (PBOC) governor Yi Gang at a panel discussion during the Boao Forum for Asia on Wednesday, unveiled as part of a broader package of policies that will further open up the nation's financial sector.

The programme with London Stock Exchange (LSE) would be the third system to give foreigners access to the mainland equity market, the world's second biggest by value.

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A link between Shanghai and Hong Kong started in November 2014, and a connect between the former British colony and Shenzhen's bourse opened in December 2016.

Mr Yi also said China would raise the daily limit for net buying to Hong Kong using the stock connects to 42 billion yuan (S$8.75 billion) from 10.5 billion yuan on May 1. The daily northbound quota will be raised to 52 billion yuan from 13 billion yuan, he said. The system has seen the daily limit hit just three times: northbound on Nov 17, 2014, the day the Shanghai programme started, and southbound on April 8 and April 9, 2015.

An agreement for some sort of connection between London and Shanghai exchanges has been in the works since at least September 2015, when plans were disclosed during a visit to China by then-UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. In November 2016, LSE and the Shanghai bourse agreed to "develop rules and implementation arrangements".

While details of the programme have yet to be revealed, Xavier Rolet, former chief executive officer of LSE, said in a November 2016 interview with the South China Morning Post that the link to London "would be completely different from the stock connect between Hong Kong and Shanghai". The system would be a "new concept of stock connect" that would allow Chinese investors to trade stocks listed in London outside of UK trading hours, he said. BLOOMBERG