(Yicai Global) May 28 -- Every city has its own character. With the Yangtze River behind it, Shanghai, which faces the Pacific Ocean, has spearheaded China's opening-up ethos for a long time. President Xi Jinping referred to Shanghai's "opening up" gene at the inauguration of the first China International Import Expo last November.
On the same day, Xi announced the addition of a new section to the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, and the setting up of the science and technology innovation board and experimentation with a registration-based listing system on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. He also unveiled plans for a pilot registration system to support the development of regional integration in the Yangtze River Delta and upgrading the area's integrated development to a national strategy.
From the country's liberation on May 27, 1949, to the reforms and opening-up in 1978, and amid a new round of reforms and opening-up on the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, Shanghai, a city blessed with the "opening up" gene, has played an increasingly rich and diverse role.
The sci-tech innovation board is the most striking achievement now. China's economy is transitioning from a high-speed growth stage to a high-quality development stage, and the capital market's service to science and technology innovation will become an important prop for economic change and upgrade.
Stocks and bonds appeared in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin even before the establishment of the People's Republic of China. China's securities market finally settled in Shanghai and Shenzhen after decades of ups and downs.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange opened at the Astor House Hotel on Dec. 19, 1990, while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was launched on July 3 the next year. Before that, over-the-counter trading had prevailed for many years in cities like Shanghai.
With a market value of CNY31.33 trillion (USD4.5 trillion), or 61 percent of the total from all companies traded on the SSE and SZSE, the 1,472 companies listed on the SSE made up about 40.4 percent of the total listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen as of May 26.
Shanghai-listed companies realized an operating revenue of CNY33.50 trillion last year, accounting for about 30 percent of China's gross domestic product during the same period. The SSE praised this, saying that Shanghai-listed companies, which realized about one third of the country's GDP with less than one company out of 10,000 registered firms nationwide, are the mainstay of the national economy.
Bold Ideas, Steady Progress
President Xi proposed three specific tasks for Shanghai last November. First, adding a new section to the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. Second, setting up the sci-tech innovation board and experimenting with the registration-based initial public offering system. Third, supporting the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and upgrading the integrated development of the delta to a national strategy.
The advancement of the registration-based system on the sci-tech innovation board is being closely watched among the three development goals. The SSE had accepted IPO application materials from 111 firms as of May 26, with would-be listers involved in the next generation of information technology and biomedicine making up nearly 70 percent.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the SSE and other authorities in Shanghai have carefully drafted the rules and regulations for the registration-based IPO system on the sci-tech innovation board over almost seven months. However, a successful market still needs to stand the test of time.
In fact, the CSRC and the SSE have been studying and exploring for several years before the introduction of the registration-based system on the sci-tech innovation board.
Standing at the starting point of a new round of reform and opening-up, the country's expectations from Shanghai are even higher than before. There will be more "trains" setting off from Shanghai in the future, and they will not only bring new strength to China's economic development but also enrich the world's experience.
Editor: Liao Shumin