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DJ Australian Bourse Targeting Chinese Listings Clears Hurdle
source: Dow Jones Chinese Financial Wire 

SYDNEY--Asia Pacific Exchange, a bourse that aims to lure Chinese companies list in Australia, is a step closer to launching after Canberra approved a set of new licence conditions and operating rules.

Bill Shorten, minister for financial services and pensions, said Monday that approval of the new rules--including safeguards against risks associated with high-frequency trading--left APX needing clearance only from Australia's securities regulator.

Mr. Shorten described Canberra's green light as another example of the burgeoning financial ties between the China and Australia. It comes just weeks after both countries agreed to currency convertibility, and days after Australia's central bank said it planned to buy Chinese government bonds for its reserves.

APX, a unit of Australia's AIMS Financial Group, is seeking to persuade Chinese companies to list in Australia and tap the country's A$1.5 trillion in pension savings.

"This decision means that the Australian-owned APX market will offer stock market listing in Australia for Asian companies, with a particular focus on Chinese companies," Mr. Shorten said in a media release. "This will improve access and increase opportunities for Australian investors, including superannuation funds."

The government has shaken up Australia's securities-trading market in recent years.

Since 2011, the country's main bourse operator ASX Ltd. has faced direct competition from Nomura-backed Chi-X. Earlier this month, Financial & Energy Exchange Global Pty. Ltd. won a license to operate a new derivatives market in the country.

The government has also granted London-based LCH.Clearnet a license to clear and settle contracts traded on the Financial and Energy Exchange, or FEX, market.