China Plans Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Link This Year, Li Says

China will seek to start a stock-trading link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen this year, Premier Li Keqiang said.

The government “will try our best” to begin the connect in 2016, Li told reporters at his annual news conference in Beijing Wednesday.

The exchange link will expand an existing program between Shanghai and Hong Kong and enable offshore investors to access many of the nation’s technology and high-growth shares. Policy makers have given few details since the $5 trillion stock-market selloff started in China in June.

“It’s a different market now,” said Mikey Hsia, a trader at Sunrise Brokers LLP in Hong Kong. “Shenzhen is home to a lot of expensive stocks so even a brave foreigner is probably not going to get interested.”

Traders were unmoved by the news. The Shenzhen Composite Index slid 1.5 percent at the trading break, while Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., operator of the city’s bourse, was down 1 percent.

The cross-border program is seen as a milestone in China’s effort to reform its financial markets and boost use of the yuan. MSCI Inc. has said that giving foreigners greater access to Shenzhen is key to including the nation’s stocks in global benchmark indexes.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.