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Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect kicks off

Updated: Dec 5,2016 9:57 AM     Xinhua

HONG KONG — The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the second link between the mainland and Hong Kong bourses, was launched on Dec 5.

Ceremonies were held simultaneously at Hong Kong and Shenzhen bourses via video link as Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) Chairman Chow Chung-kong and Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying jointly beat a gong to mark the launch.

It is the second link of its kind to boost opening up of the mainland’s capital market after a similar link between the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses was launched in 2014.

“Following the footsteps of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect ... Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is yet another milestone in deepening mutual access between the capital markets in China’s mainland and Hong Kong,” Leung said at the ceremony.

The new scheme is aimed at giving global investors access to stocks in the tech-heavy Shenzhen market via Hong Kong bourse. A total of 417 stocks on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong are eligible for trading, and 881 stocks are eligible on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Compared with Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the new scheme between Shenzhen and Hong Kong represents “an enhanced version” in terms of its expanded scope of eligible securities, as well as the lift of limits on aggregate quota upon its launch, Leung said.

The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is exemplary of Hong Kong’s combined advantages of “one country, two systems,” he said. “We are, indeed, a ‘super-connector’ between the rest of China and the rest of the world.”

Hong Kong stocks’ benchmark Hang Seng Index opened 15 points, or 0.07 percent, higher in the morning of Dec 5.

HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li said he did not expect a sharp rise in turnover shortly after the launch. “It’s like building a bridge. After the bridge is built, flows of people will arrive in succession in the coming 20 years or so.”

He described the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect as “the second leg” for the stock markets in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, “Now we can walk, and then we can run.”