China halts stock link with UK over politics: Sources, Latest Business News - The New Paper

China halts stock link with UK over politics: Sources

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HONG KONG/LONDON : China has temporarily blocked planned cross-border listings between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges because of political tensions with Britain, five sources told 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 companies expand their investor base and give mainland investors access to Britain-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. All five sources have been involved in talks with Chinese officials.

British companies and banks involved in the scheme are watching closely how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson approaches relations with Beijing and what stance he takes on Hong Kong, which has been roiled by protests.

China blames the Hong Kong unrest on interference by foreign governments, including the US and Britain.

China's Ministrky of Foreign Affairs said in a faxed statement that it is not aware of the specifics, but added 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". - REUTERS