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GEB listed firms may get approval for HK trading
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The government might allow mainland firms listed on the Shenzhen growth enterprise board (GEB) to be traded on the Hong Kong bourse, industry insiders said yesterday.

Former JP Morgan China President Li Xiaojia, who is likely to head Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) in October, will work with the Shenzhen bourse and the regulator on the issue, people familiar with the issue said.

"The program could finally expand to allow GEB-listed companies to be traded on other overseas bourses like London or New York," the sources said.

"Chinese companies could issue deposit receipts to overseas investors," they said.

"The move will help dollar-denominated private equity funds and venture capitalists to offload their GEB portfolios," Jin Jiang, partner, Deloitte said.

"It will also help Chinese companies to build their brand overseas," Jin said.

Officials from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and NYSE Euronext said they are studying the feasibility of the plan, but did not provide any time frame.

"It is all about the internationalization of the A-share market," said LSE's Beijing-based representative, Zhang Ning.

"There are still many technical problems that need to be addressed," Ji Suhai, a representative at NYSE Euronext said.

Jin, however, feels that there are no difficulties on the technical side. "It is all about the government's determination," he said.

(China Daily August 26, 2009)

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