Who Will Rule Asia's Bourses?

Singapore is challenging Hong Kong as the region's financial-markets heavyweight

Just over a year ago, the Singapore International Monetary Exchange Ltd. killed off an index futures contract based on Hong Kong stock prices, for lack of investor interest. Hong Kong officials, from Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa on down, are now wishing it had stayed dead. But investor interest in Asia's battered bourses recovered, and SIMEX, sensing it could turn a buck, decided to relaunch an improved version of the contract on Nov. 23. Now, even before trading restarts, the contract is a financial war zone.

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