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Call for Shanghai-London stock connect 'more symbolic than substantial', says expert

The UK and China called for feasibility studies on a China-EU free trade agreement, plus a stock connect between the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, on the final day of Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to the UK. 26 Oct 2015

However a feasibility study on a stock connect may be "more symbolic than substantial at this stage" said Beijing-based finance and investment infrastructure expert Helena Chen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.

"There will be more hurdles to overcome than for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, including the time differences between Shanghai and London and the differences between the trading systems of Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. It may take years before they can be formally connected," Chen said.

The two countries have also agreed to raise the level of cooperation in innovation and establish a UK-China innovation cooperation partnership. 

The UK said in the statement that it welcomes China's issuance of a sovereign RMB bond in London this week, and that it supports the inclusion of China's currency into the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights (SDR) basket.

The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Its value is based on the value of several international currencies – currently the US dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling.

The RMB became one of the world's top payment currencies early this year, according to figures compiled by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift).