Shanghai bourse eyes listings for foreign firms

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BEIJING, Nov 19 (Reuters) The Shanghai Stock Exchange hopes to attract listings from major international companies in a bid to strengthen the bourse, the official Xinhua agency said on Sunday, quoting a senior official.

Que Bo, the exchange's assistant general manager, said they had commissioned market research and expected results soon.

''To strengthen the blue-chip market, we have been planning to list such multinationals as HSBC <0005.HK>, Coca-Cola and Siemens , which have developed very well in China,'' he was quoted as saying in a story carried online by the China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn).

The Financial Times reported in May that the bourse was in talks with HSBC and other high-profile foreign firms to list their shares in mainland China, as part of a strategy to boost the exchange's profile.

A mainland China listing for a major global firm would underline the dramatic re-emergence of Shanghai as an attractive capital market, after a bull run that quadrupled the main index <.SSEC> in the 18 months to the start of November -- and ended with the market's biggest weekly fall for a decade.

Listings for foreign firms would also boost their profile in China as they look to expand in the fast-growing market.

Lawyers familiar with the situation said the China Securities Regulatory Commission was debating allowing non mainland-based firms to list on the mainland, the Financial Times said in May.

REUTERS DKS BST0600

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