The first red-chip and foreign companies could list shares on the Shanghai stock exchange next year, Jing Ulrich, chairman of China equities at J.P. Morgan, said on Monday.
Red chips are Chinese companies that have their business on the mainland but are incorporated outside China and listed on overseas bourses, usually Hong Kong. They are currently prohibited from selling shares inside mainland China.
Within the next 12 months there should be at least a handful of red chip companies or foreign companies listed in Shanghai, Ulrich told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
She mentioned China Mobile and CNOOC Ltd as red chips that might sell shares in Shanghai.
Asked about the attitude of Chinese regulators, Ulrich said: There is strong support for this initiative and I think the conditions are ripe.
She said listings by red chips and foreign companies would open up new choices for Chinese investors and allow foreign companies to tap into a market with ample liquidity.
A number of foreign companies, including global banking giant HSBC, have expressed interest in listing on the new board mooted in Shanghai for overseas companies.
Shanghai Stock Exchange vice-president Liu Xiaodong said listing rules overseas companies were still being drafted and there was no timetable. He added that those looking to list would need to have a China-related business rationale for doing so and not just use it as a venue to raise capital.
Robert McCooey, a senior vice-president of NASDAQ OMX Group, said his exchange had communicated its interest to China's securities regulator and to the Shanghai stock exchange.
We will continue to have dialogue with them and see how the international board progresses. We are interested in becoming part of it, if it makes sense at the time, he told Reuters.
NASDAQ is the largest overseas bourse for Chinese companies, with 117 listings, and McCooey said a NASDAQ listing in Shanghai would be a reciprocal show of support for the Chinese market.
NYSE Euronext, the parent of the New York Stock Exchange and a rival to NASDAQ, is also keen.
We hope that NYSE Euronext is in the first group of (overseas) companies to list, but we don't know if it will be the first, Ronald Keng, NYSE Euronext's head of international listings for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia, told the Hong Kong Economic Times in remarks published on Monday.
Reporting by Simon Rabinovitch and Michael Wei; Editing by Chris Lewis)