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Overseas Bourses Seek More Chinese Listings

Foreign bourses are eager to extend their presence in the Chinese market to satisfy rising demands from Chinese companies listing abroad.

"There are a lot of business opportunities in China. We are willing to help Chinese companies smoothly and successfully access international capital through listing in NASDAQ," said Stuart Patterson, general supervisor of NASDAQ's Asia-Pacific operations.

Patterson made the remarks at a summit, which has gathered 10 global exchanges including NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Shenzhen, a booming city in South China.

"We already have six listings from the Chinese mainland and will have another two by the end of this year," said Patterson.

Ang Swee Tian, president of the Singapore Stock Exchange noted that it had positioned itself well to meet the increasing needs of mainland companies looking for risk capital by sponsoring financial institutions to work with listed companies and providing a series of after-care services during the past two years.

In the first nine months of this year, 29 foreign companies were listed in Singapore and 19 were from the Chinese mainland. By comparison, only 15 Chinese companies went public in Singapore last year.

Jane Zhu, head of the Asia-Pacific section of the London Stock Exchange said their previous promotions were far from enough to meet market demand, given only six companies from the Chinese mainland had listed on their exchange.

The six listings performed extremely well during the past 12 months with an average increase of over 93 percent in their shares' value, said Zhu.

To lure more Chinese companies, the London Stock Exchange will set up an Asian Pacific Office in Hong Kong and focus on the expansion of the market in China.

More than 200 mainland companies have chosen to list in Hong Kong since 1993, approving the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as one of the best financing platforms for mainland companies.

Canada's Toronto Exchange said that to help Chinese companies tap the market in North America, they have tailor-made plans for more Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises.

Hideki Yamamoto, senior adviser with the Tokyo Stock Exchange said many Chinese companies have made approaches about listing on their exchange as the Japanese economy has recovered since the end of last year.

Promotion of the Tokyo Stock Exchange has expanded to major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other provinces.

During the summit, bourse representatives agreed that the role of each stock exchange worldwide could not be replaced.

"Instead of being rivals, exchanges are complementary partners," said Zhu, in summarizing their discussions.

Along with the fair, a forum on the development of small and medium science and technology (S&T) enterprises under the aegis of the Innovation Fund for Small Technology-based Firms is being held to discuss the financial environment for the growth of small and medium-sized S&T enterprises.

(China Daily October 15, 2004)

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