Shenzhen Opens Stock Market Up to the World, Is Little Noticed

  • Channel is second to connect a Chinese exchange with Hong Kong
  • Benchmark indexes in both cities declined on first day

Almost lost in the barrage of antagonistic tweets by Donald Trump and the results of the Italian referendum was the opening up of China’s second-largest equity market to the rest of the world.

The link between the southern technology hub of Shenzhen and Hong Kong had been expected ever since a channel with Shanghai started in November 2014, with speculation that last year’s stock market turmoil and accelerating capital outflows led to a delayed start date. Now, investors have access to a stock market that is larger by value than the U.K., although trading is limited by quotas and other restrictions.

While Monday’s start failed to lift benchmark indexes in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, overseas investors purchased a net 2.7 billion yuan ($392 million) through the link, or about 21 percent of the daily quota. That is almost exactly the amount of Shanghai shares foreigners sold in the two days through Monday, suggesting the new link -- which offers access to smaller cap shares and privately-held technology firms -- is sucking money from its bigger cousin in the north.

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