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Shanghai Bourse Aims for 24-hour Trading

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The Shanghai Stock Exchange, the world's sixth-largest stock market by market capitalization, said on Dec 10 that it will implement round-the-clock trading by 2020, in a move to facilitate transactions on its forthcoming international board.

No stock exchange in the world has yet implemented 24-hour trading.

"Round-the-clock trading is a dream for any stock exchange. And based on our current technology, it is very likely that we will launch it within ten years. We are devoting great efforts to achieve that goal," Liu Xiaodong, a deputy general manger of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said at a news briefing.

Liu said one of the aims of the 24-hour trading service is to facilitate transactions on the exchange's forthcoming international board, a section for foreign companies to list shares, helping overseas traders to overcome time differences.

Dow Jones Newswire reported earlier this month that the long-awaited international board will be launched next year.

Xu Ming, also a deputy general manager with the Shanghai exchange, and in charge of the international board, told China Daily that the exchange is "trying its best" to make preparations for the launch, but he declined to give a exact timetable.

Wang Mingxu, stock strategy analyst with Oriental Securities, believes 24-hour trading will be of great significance for the international board in its efforts to attract more foreign companies.

"A large amount of trading on the international board will be done overseas, and making foreign traders work at night will sort of hurt the board's trade volume," Wang said. "However, the service is essential for the board to be a real international market." But he added that it will be a waste of resources to launch 24-hour trading in the exchange's domestic A-share market, as the current hours are sufficient for domestic traders.

At present, trading hours for the exchange's A and B share lists are 9:30 to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday.

In fact, the service is part of the plan for the exchange to go international. The exchange said in a strategic planning document, published on Friday, that by 2020, it will be one of the leading global trading centers and the main stock exchange in the Asia-Pacific region.

To achieve that goal, the exchange will adopt a series of measures during the next three years to attract red-chip companies (Chinese companies incorporated outside the mainland and listed in Hong Kong) to list in its A-share market.

It is also committed to developing more exchange-traded funds that track foreign stock indexes to diversify its transaction base.

(China Daily December 11, 2010)

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