The head of the country’s stock market regulatory agency says Shenzhen’s capital markets will continue to pursue reforms that aim to completely open it to the international investment community. Step by step. As soon as possible.
Observers who have been champing at the bit to see further opening of China’s capital market may be forgiven a yawn. At first glance, this sounds like the usual reassurances from a regulator that reforms are proceeding ASAP, when the reality is different. But Yi Huiman (above, left), head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, was speaking to local media during an inspection tour of Shenzhen earlier this week. It was his first visit following the city’s designation as a Pioneering Zone for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and he was in the company of Shenzhen’s leader, Party Secretary Wang Weizhong (above, right), who is also Deputy Party Secretary of Guangdong.
What he said was: CSRC will “improve the political position” while focusing on the “construction needs” of the PZSCC, and “plan and highlight the overall situation, step by step”. Moreover, the CSRC will seize the opportunity to “fully promote the reform and development of Shenzhen’s capital market, achieve phased results as soon as possible, and effectively improve the quality and efficiency of the capital market to serve the real economy.”
Translation (ours): It is full speed ahead for Reform and Opening, Act II.
If anyone was in any doubt about the CSRC’s intentions after that, Yi added, for good measure, that “the market serves the quality and efficiency of the real economy.”
Translation (ours): This is a high priority, given the current economic slowdown.
Wang Weizhong, for his part, said his team understood it was necessary to “strive, day and night,” in order to live up to the responsibility that goes with being a PZSCC. Therefore, he said, it is hoped that the CSRC will strengthen its support and guidance for the development of Shenzhen’s capital markets, specifically to:
- Accelerate the improvement of the GEM listing process;
- Restructure systems governing refinancing and mergers and acquisitions;
- Promote the reform of the registration system;
- Promote interconnection and interoperability with the financial markets of Hong Kong and Macau; and
- Strive to improve the financial services “real economy”.
Watch this space.