Chinese firms may lose access to US stock markets if Trump signs bill

NEW YORK: The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that could close US stock and money markets to Chinese firms.

The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act could be quickly placed on the desk of US President Donald Trump for final approval, since it was already passed by the Senate.

The measure, introduced last year by Republican senator John Kennedy, would mandate that foreign companies listed on US stock exchanges comply with accounting requirements of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Many foreign companies already conform to the standard, but Chinese firms do not.

In addition, Chinese groups on the US Stock Exchange will have to disclose whether one or more of their board are members of the Chinese Communist Party.

According to figures from a congressional commission, 217 Chinese companies were listed on US stock exchanges in early October, valued at a total of US$2.2 trillion (S$2.9 trillion) based on share prices.

One of the heavyweights on the list is e-commerce colossus Alibaba, which in 2014 had the biggest all-time initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, raising US$25 billion.- AFP