News from China

China Railways CRH2

Image via Wikipedia

I've been traveling around China this week visiting clients in cities all over the country. I've often been asked how our pending merger is going as this kind of merger doesn't really happen in China and the people in the Chinese futures community are fascinated by the whole process.

For those who are interested in Chinese finance, this has been quite a dramatic week. The Chinese government has announced sweeping changes at the top of many leading financial institutions – these include developing China's FX derivatives market given a gradually convertible Chinese currency and the launch of an international board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This would mean companies like ours would be listed in China.

This is a precursor of major changes in the organization of Chinese financial regulations that will be put into place over the next couple of years. My hope is that our company will be involved and will benefit from these changes. I’ll be covering these changes in future blog posts, as well as Beijing’s role in the ‘euro bailout’.

I've been using the new Chinese high-speed train system this trip. After the recent crash the authorities have reduced the top speed but at 300 kilometers (or 196 miles) an hour it is a very good way of getting to places, say from Beijing to Shanghai. And it's far more comfortable and there’s much more space to work than on the plane. In the station's bookshop I've noticed something very interesting. Everywhere there are huge numbers of the recent Steve Jobs biography – translated of course into Chinese. In any one shop you might see a couple of hundred of these books on display. This reflects the huge interest in the character of Steve Jobs here in China. I think the fascination is based on the fact that he was a unique combination of creative genius and also a highly competent manager. And of course they love his inventions!

I'm ending this trip in Hong Kong where I will be sorting out NYSE Liffe’s new office because from 1 Dec I may be based there. So expect my next blog from Hong Kong!

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