Nasdaq International said on Sunday it was focusing on the China market as strong economic growth creates a broad range of companies that are seeking overseas listings.

There is a very good pipeline of good, well-managed companies that are seeking to list on U.S. markets out of China, James Ogilvy-Stuart, Nasdaq's Asia head, told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Ogilvy-Stuart said the competition from European and U.S. stock exchanges was heating up and that Nasdaq had to work hard to convince companies to list on his exchange.

We want to expound the message that Nasdaq is not only the logical destination for technology issues, but also alternative energy, biotech, health and financial sectors as well, said the executive who only assumed his position in July.

Currently, 28 of 85 Asian companies listed on Nasdaq come from China, but that ratio may change as Ogilvy-Stuart said the China market could take up about 50 percent of his time.

The fact is, there is a huge global investment appetite for companies in China, said Ogilvy-Stuart.

Competition for trading equities is intensifying, with options and equity exchanges encroaching on each other's markets and engaging in more merger activity.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange, the largest U.S. options market, said earlier this year it was planning to launch a stock exchange in early 2007.

The move will pit the CBOE against the industry stalwarts, NYSE Group Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., as well as its chief rival in the options space, International Securities Exchange Inc.

We operate in a competitive environment, said Ogilvy-Stuart.

The more China's capital markets develop, the greater the opportunity for Nasdaq to cooperate in dual or cross listings, he said.

It is in Nasdaq's interest as it should be in the interest of every stock exchange and capital market to promote and assist with the continued development of China's capital market, said Ogilvy-Stuart.

Beijing is now more than a year into reforms aimed at removing a $250 billion overhang of untraded equity that has weighed on markets for years and fostering more viable and robust capital markets.

Regulators have said the reforms would be completed by this year.

(US$=7.95 yuan)