China allows NYSE and Nasdaq to open formal business offices
The NYSE is home to 31 companies based in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan
BEIJING » China has agreed to allow the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange to open formal business offices in China, Finance Minister Jin Renqing announced yesterday.
Jin did not give a timetable for opening the offices or any other details. The announcement came after two days of high-level talks with U.S. officials.
Dozens of Chinese companies have listed shares on the Nasdaq and NYSE Group Inc.'s New York Stock Exchange, and both are eager for business as China's economy booms.
The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. has a representative office in Beijing but that status restricts the scope of its activities, barring companies from doing such things as signing contracts. The New York Stock Exchange has a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai stock exchange, cooperating on listings and technology.
The announcement came as U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other officials visited China for high-level talks aimed at strengthening shaky relations.
The American and Chinese delegations announced agreements to cooperate more closely to promote trade, open markets, protect the environment and develop cleaner energy sources.
Last month, NYSE Group Chief Executive John Thain traveled to China in a bid to drum up more business for the exchange. The NYSE is currently home to 31 companies based in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan.
Thain has targeted Asia as the next stop in expanding the exchange, after it closes its $13.7 billion acquisition of Paris-based Euronext NV. Shareholders from both exchange operators will vote on the deal next week.
NYSE Group shares fell 35 cents to close at $98.05 on the NYSE, while Nasdaq shares gained 25 cents to finish at $35.55 on the Nasdaq.