China stops Shanghai-London Stock Connect over political tensions

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Not so much to clap about today.

“China has temporarily blocked planned cross-border listings between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges because of political tensions with Britain,” according to five sources cited by Reuters.

Suspending the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme casts a shadow over the future of a project meant to build ties between Britain and China, help Chinese firms expand their investor base and give mainland investors access to UK-listed companies.

The sources, who include public officials and people working on potential Shanghai-London deals, all said that politics was behind the suspension.

Two of them highlighted Britain’s stance over the Hong Kong protests and one pointed to remarks over the detention of a now former staff member at its consulate in Hong Kong…

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a faxed statement that it is not aware of the specifics, but added that it “hopes the UK can provide a fair and unbiased business environment for Chinese companies that invest in the UK and create the appropriate conditions for both countries to carry out practical cooperation smoothly in various fields”…

This is going to make other global stock markets think twice about the reliability of such arrangements with Chinese bourses.  

—Jeremy Goldkorn