HKEx responds to reports Shenzhen Connect to launch this year

Rumours that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is due to launch imminently have caused chaos for local markets, but HKEx said it has not yet received regulatory approval.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) has attempted to diffuse market chaos following reports that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect will launch this year.

The row follows a publication on the People’s Bank of China website, where excerpts from a speech by governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested the new connection’s launch was imminent, despite widespread expectations it would be delayed until 2016.

This has resulted in what HKEx described as “unusual movements in the price and trading volume” of Hong Kong listed shares.

In a statement released this morning, HKEx reiterated that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect was still awaiting approval from regulators.

“HKEx wishes to emphasise that as at the date of this announcement, the proposed Shenzhen Stock Connect is still subject to regulatory approval and no agreement with our counterparts has been entered into. HKEx will make a further announcement to update investors and the market in compliance with the Securities and Futures Ordinance (“SFO”) and the Listing Rules as and when appropriate”, the statement read.

The People’s Bank of China said the statements by governor Zhou were taken from a speech made in May and were not indicative of the current state of the new Stock Connect.

HKEx added that it knew of no other reason for the price and volume movements witnessed in some stocks today and advised investors to exercise caution when dealing in shares.