Shanghai Stock Exchange to Seek Pacts With More Foreign Bourses

SHANGHAI, BLOOMBERG -- Shanghai Stock Exchange outlined plans for closer links with other national markets, taking further steps to enact President Xi Jinping's policy to project Chinese soft power around the world.

The bourse will seek business and strategic cooperation with other exchanges, it said last Friday, which could include buying stakes in its peers. It was part of a group that at the end of last year agreed to purchase 40 percent of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, and it recently signed agreements with markets in Malaysia and Luxembourg to increase cooperation.

One of the central planks of Xi's economic policy has been his "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure-building program, which aims to tie economies across Asia and Europe more closely to China. Pacts between national exchanges would help the mainland increase its financial influence in the region, said Shen Zhengyang, a Shanghai-based analyst with Northeast Securities Co.

"Capital market connectivity is an important part of belt and road, a program that was promoted to an even more prominent position by the Party," he said. "We will likely see more moves similar to the investment in Pakistan."

The ruling Chinese Communist Party wrote Xi's belt-and-road initiative into its constitution at the end of the 19th Party Congress, which closed last week.

Shared Interests

The Shanghai exchange also said it will encourage more foreign companies to issue yuan-denominated bonds, or panda bonds, at its venue. On-exchange trading accounted for 4 percent of the mainland's bond market last year, according to data from the central bank.

Chinese companies will be encouraged to list at the China Europe International Exchange in Frankfurt, a joint venture between Shanghai's bourse, Deutsche Borse AG and the China Financial Futures Exchange, according to Friday's statement.

The aim is to "create a community of shared interests in capital markets along the belt and road, and at the same time promote the two-way opening-up of domestic capital markets, support the construction of Shanghai as a global financial center and push for Shanghai Stock Exchange's international development," the bourse said in the statement.

Shen of Northern Securities said it's unclear whether Shanghai's plans will include new trading links similar to the one it has with Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which allows investors to buy mainland-listed stocks via the former British colony. Philippine Stock Exchange Inc.'s chief executive officer said earlier this month that his company was in talks with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange about a possible investment. Ramon Monzon said that his bourse also wants a Shenzhen-Manila stock connect.