The London-Shanghai Stock Connect service was opened for business as part of efforts to build a stronger economic dialogue between the UK and China. Chancellor Philip Hammond said the initiative represents a “strong vote of confidence” as Britain prepares to leave the European Union on 31 October. The project has taken four years to develop. Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is hosting vice premier Hu Chunhua, said: ”Stock Connect is a ground-breaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia.

“London is a global financial centre like no other, and today’s launch is a strong vote of confidence in the UK market.”

The scheme will allow international investors to access China A-shares from outside Greater China.

At the same time more than 260 Shanghai-listed companies will be eligible to list in London through the initiative.

It is intended that investors will be able to trade across London and Chinese time zones, allowing issuers from both markets to raise capital in the other market.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said the new connect would give domestic firms support in expanding their global businesses.

Chinese brokerage Huatai was the first company to make its full London debut.

Mr Hammond has sought to build economic ties with Beijing as Britain prepares for Brexit, despite controversies over issues like the potential involvement of Chinese tech giant Huawei, in the UK’s 5G network.

In April he attended a conference in the Chinese capital to promote Beijing’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure structure programme to develop new land and sea routes with the West.

He made clear the aim was to win lucrative financial, legal and design services contracts for UK firms.

The move will be a welcome patch of positively for China, with the nation currently locked in a bitter trade war with the United States.

US President Donald Trump recently ramped up tariffs on a list of $200billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The American leader has also vowed to slap 25 percent tariffs on an additional $300billion worth of Chinese goods unless the two sides reach an agreement.

China has retaliated to US aggression by raising duties on a revised list of $60billion worth of US products to as high as 25 percent.

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