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FCA, CSRC approve Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) have made a joint announcement of their approval of the Shanghai and London Stock Exchanges’ proposed new Shanghai-London Stock Connect. They have also published a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at providing the basis for the regulatory co-operation that will support the scheme.

The Stock Connect scheme is a reciprocal arrangement between the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and London Stock Exchange that aims to encourage cross-border investment between the countries and provide investors and companies in the UK and China with mutual access to each other’s capital markets. A joint initiative of the two exchanges, the scheme’s development has been supported by Economic and Financial Dialogues between the UK and Chinese governments.

The two regulators’ joint announcement sets out high-level details of the scheme. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect will enable Shanghai-listed Chinese companies to apply to be admitted to trading on a newly formed Shanghai Segment of London Stock Exchange’s Main Market, while companies with a premium listing in the UK will be able to apply for admission to the Main Board of the SSE. 

In both cases, the securities traded will be in the form of depository receipts. The structure is new to China and offers Chinese investors a unique opportunity to gain exposure to international securities via an exchange located in their own country and currency. From a UK perspective, the scheme offers institutional investors a broader opportunity to gain exposure to the Chinese A-share market which has been historically restricted to those western institutions with ‘Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor’ status.

FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said: “This new scheme will deepen and strengthen connectivity between UK and China capital markets to the advantage of both countries.  We both believe in the positive contribution regulators can make in international capital markets, and the new co-operation we’re announcing today will be an important contributor to the success of the scheme.”

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