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London Stock Exchange pitches for more Chinese IPOs-Reuters

(Reuters) – The London Stock Exchange hosted on Thursday its first major conference to attract listings by Chinese companies which have hitherto flocked to rival bourses in New York and Hong Kong for their initial public offerings overseas.

Bidding to raise the LSE’s profile, CEO Alexander Justham noted the exchange currently has about 60 Chinese companies listed, with a combined market capitalisation of around 17.2 billion pounds($27.86 billion).

“Clearly that is just, in China context, relatively small. We absolutely understand that,” Justham told Reuters. “These are very early days.”
London is battling against other financial centres that have clear specialisations.

The U.S. markets, for example, have successfully attracted big state enterprises and China’s leading technology firms.

Nasdaq Stock Market, New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) collectively have 116 Chinese listings worth a total market cap of roughly $640 billion, according to figures compiled by Nasdaq.

Mainland companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have a market cap of HK$4.7 trillion($606 billion). Language, shared culture and proximity, are Hong Kong’s main draws, while London still had to carve out a special attraction, commented Zhu Baocheng, financial controller at Beijing Energy Investment holding Co., Ltd, whose firm is considering listing one of its subsidiaries overseas.

However, Zhu did say one selling point for the London Stock Exchange was its AIM market, which is less restrictive for smaller firms.

For other Chinese executives attending the conference, the London bourse was virtually unknown.

Luan Xuefeng, head of the financial department at major peanut oil producer Shandong Luhua Group, said he’d never heard of the London Stock Exchange before the event but was familiar with the New York exchanges. The firm, which has 12 billion yuan ($1.96 billion) in annual revenue, began considering an IPO last year