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Chinese Firms Welcome to List Overseas

  BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- XIAMEN: The world's major stock exchanges are greeting Chinese firms with open arms. 

  That was the message delivered by executives from four overseas bourses in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong yesterday at the Summit of Securities Markets and Small Financing Innovation, which was held in Xiamen in East China's Fujian Province.

  "We have long-term commitments to China," said Stuart Patterson, who heads the Asia-Pacific section of the US-based NASDAQ. He said that the world's top bourse would provide the most efficient trading platform for Chinese companies.

  He also attempted to persuade companies in different sectors into listing with NASDAQ, using a set of figures to demonstrate that the board is not only home to high-tech firms.

  "NASDAQ is not purely for tech," he said. "Only 28 per cent of the listed companies are technology-oriented."

  Now there are 11 Chinese companies listed on NASDAQ.

  Compared with NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange (LSE), a late comer to the mainland market, turned out to be more aggressive.

  "We defined China as our most important market earlier this year," said Jane Zhu, head of Asia Pacific Company Services of the LSE.

  "Our Hong Kong office will be officially operated in late October or early November," said Zhu. "It is to expand our business in Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China."

  The world's largest stock exchange in terms of trade volumes is encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to launch initial public offerings (IPOs) at its Alternative Investment Market (AIM) specially tailored for growing businesses.

  "(There will be) no minimum shares to be in public hands, no trading record requirement, no prior shareholder approval for transactions, and no minimum market capitalization... the AIM offers extreme flexibility," she said.

  Zhu also revealed that a Beijing-based company is expected to be listed at the AIM later this month, marking the entry of a mainland firm to the 9-year-old AIM.

  The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which accommodates the largest number of mainland companies, apparently cannot afford any lack of advances.

  "We have recently adjusted our listing requirements, which will make it easier for mainland firms to come to us," said Christine Lie, vice-president of Business Development and Investor Services Division of the exchange.

  The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is also rolling out the red carpet for Chinese firms.

  Ang Swee Tian, the exchange's president, said Singapore, having a similar culture to China, welcomes more Chinese firms seeking listing there.

  "Singapore investors are in favour of Chinese firms," Tian said. "SGX, a comparably small bourse, will be an ideal place for China's SMEs."

  (China Daily)

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