Nansha gears up for cross-border finance role

Guangzhou’s Nansha Free Trade Zone is accelerating plans for its leap into international finance by opening a new international bank, a new international life insurance company and, perhaps most significantly, an internationally traded commodity futures exchange.

According to Yicai Global, the Guangzhou Futures Exchange will materialize first. Back in April, details began to be released on this when officials spoke about plans for carbon trading on the exchange when it launched. Further details are still somewhat elusive, but it would appear that trading will be launched in Chinese Certified Emission Reduction (CCER) contracts, with other products to be added later. It seems that the second half of the year is when trading will begin, but sources at the Paulson Institute speculate it could be as soon as next month.

Guangzhou was the first city in China to handle futures transactions when it opened an exchange in 1993, but itwas shut down in 1998 amid a crackdown on financial-markets speculation.

Nansha is also close to launching a new international commercial bank in partnership with “influential institutions” in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. No further details were given.

The third new firm will be a life insurance joint venture with majority backing from Hong Kong-based FWD General Insurance and contributions from “several insurers” on the mainland.

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