China to Include Dual-Class Shares in Stock Connect in July

(Bloomberg) -- China-based traders will be able to invest in Hong Kong-listed technology giants including Xiaomi Corp. and Meituan Dianping starting July, when the companies’ dual-class listing structures will no longer make them off limits to mainland investors.

"After long discussions between the Hong Kong exchange and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, we agreed that in July weighted-voting rights shares will be included" in the stock connects between the mainland and Hong Kong, the city’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Lau, said after a visit to the Shanghai stock exchange.

China’s decision last year to exclude so-called dual-class shares from the connect initially sent the newly listed Xiaomi tumbling. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s years-long push for weighted-voting rights, which enable founders to keep control even after going public, was in part based on the idea that Chinese technology firms would choose to list in Hong Kong over the U.S. because onshore investors would have easy access via the stock connect.

The CSRC did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment after regular business hours.

The Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong exchanges agreed on a detailed arrangement in December to include shares with unequal voting rights in the southbound stock connect, with the new rules set to be implemented in mid-2019.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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