HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank, said it might have to wait before listing in Shanghai because of market conditions, a senior executive said on Tuesday, in a sign that the long-awaited international board may be delayed again.
“If you look at the situation in China, the A-share market is not performing particularly well and there are quite a few banks that are trying to raise funds in the market,” HSBC’s Asia head Peter Wong said.
“I think at this point in time we will have to wait a little bit.”
Geng Liang, chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said in March that rules regulating the city’s international board are largely ready, adding to a chorus of official statements that the city hopes to launch the board this year.
Talk of a Shanghai international board has been around for almost 10 years now, having been delayed multiple times over problems ranging from worries over hot money inflows to the global financial crisis.
Besides HSBC, other foreign firms such as Unilever and Standard Chartered have said they want to list in Shanghai when the rules allow.
Foreign incorporated Chinese companies such as China Mobile, known in Hong Kong as red-chips, have also said they want to return to the mainland stock market via the international board when it is approved.
The biggest stumbling block to Shanghai’s plans has been China’s closed capital account, which means its currency cannot flow freely in and out of the country. It has not said if non-Chinese investors will be allowed to buy stock on the international board.