Shanghai Exchange gets approval for trading platform in free-trade zone

BEIJING Sat Mar 8, 2014 8:53am EST

Brokers work next to their computers at the Shanghai Stock Exchange August 18, 2009. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Brokers work next to their computers at the Shanghai Stock Exchange August 18, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Shanghai Stock Exchange has secured approvals from regulators to set up an international trading center in the free-trade zone, the chairman of the bourse said on Saturday.

The move could pave the way for more foreign investors to tap the world's fourth-largest stock market by capitalization and also for foreign companies to issue shares in the world's second-largest economy.

Gui Minjie, chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said significant progress has been made in recent years allowing Chinese firms to list on overseas markets. However, no foreign companies are allowed to issue shares on Chinese bourses.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the parliament session in Beijing, Gui said the exchange was preparing a team to study ways to develop the trading platform.

China opened the Shanghai free-trade zone in late September to fuel development of the country's financial-services sector.

Beijing has said that it would allow a trial of a fully convertible yuan capital account in the free-trade zone, sparking hopes for an easing of controls that bar foreign companies from raising capital through IPOs.

(Reporting by Zhang Xiaochong and Fayen Wong; Editing by Kim Coghill)