Investor FAQ

1.How will the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program affect economic development in the Mainland and Hong Kong? What significance does it have to the reform and development of SZSE’s multi-tiered capital market?

Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program is another major plan mapped out by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council for the reform and opening up of China’s capital market, marking Chinese capital market a sound step towards internationalization and market-oriented development. The launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program will further increase the scale of mutual market access between the Mainland and Hong Kong. The program also helps strengthen cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong at a higher level and in greater depth, reinforces Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub, promotes RMB internationalization and improves the international competitiveness of Chinese financial industry and its capability to serve the real economy.
The launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program is of great significance to the reform and development of SZSE’s multi-tiered capital market. It will help further enhance the international level and global influence of SZSE, accelerate institutional linkage of capital markets between the Mainland and Hong Kong, optimize investor structure, increase the depth, broadness and quality of SZSE’s multi-tiered capital market, and thus bring into a better play about investment financing functions of SZSE’s multi-tiered capital market. Meanwhile, the program will give full play to the geographical advantage of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, further intensify close cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong capital markets, allow investors to better share the economic development results of the Mainland and Hong Kong, and satisfy investors’ multiple demands for cross-border investment and risk management.

2. How does Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect differ from the current Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in operation model, rules and regulations?

Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect has been in operation for nearly two years. Its business operation model has become mature and its rule system has become widely known to investors. SZSE has followed the principle of “Consistence with Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in Basic Framework and Model” when designs the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. The SZSE fully respects to market practices and due consideration given to constitutional continuity. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect draws on the successful experience of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect with all the main operation mechanisms and institutional arrangement such as trade settlement, quota control, investor suitability, market surveillance and self-regulation modeled of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. In addition, the style, structure and phrasing of the Measures are largely consistent with that of the Measures for Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect Pilot Program, while the Suitability Guidelines for Hong Kong Connect under the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect are exactly the same as that for Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
According to the Joint Announcement issued by China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the eligible shares of Shenzhen Connect include a group of shares listed on SZSE Main Board, SME Board and ChiNext market, while the scope of eligible shares for Hong Kong Connect is expanded to include the constituents of Hang Seng SmallCap Index above a certain market cap threshold, which fully demonstrates the characteristics of SZSE as a multi-tiered capital market.

3. What do the Measures mainly include?

The Measures are basic rules for Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect which serves as the basis for SZSE members and investors to participate in Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. The Measures, including 124 articles in six chapters, set forth in details about the basic model and specific requirements of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, mainly covering:
Firstly, Shenzhen Connect Trading. The Measures clarify the participation requirements and relevant obligations for SEHK Securities Trading Service Company; the scope of eligible shares for Shenzhen Connect and the rules for inclusion in and removal from Hong Kong Connect; order types, margin trading and regulatory requirements for covered short selling; calculation formula of daily quota and the solution when the quota limit is exceeded; shareholding limits and relevant arrangement, etc.
Secondly, Hong Kong Connect Trading. The Measures specify the requirements and duties of SZSE members who participate in Hong Kong Connect; the scope of eligible shares for Hong Kong Connect and the rules for inclusion in and removal from Hong Kong Connect; calculation formula of daily quota and monitor mode; investor suitability requirements to participate in Hong Kong Connect and risk disclosure requirements to investors; the current practices in Shenzhen A-share market, such as trading account, transfer of custody, third party depository, pre-trade checking of fund and securities are all retained.
Thirdly, handling of extraordinary trading circumstances. With reference to the relevant provisions in trading rules of SZSE and SEHK, the Measures specify the parties’ responsibility for handling subjects, response measures, market announcement, and liability exemption, etc.
Fourthly, self-regulation. In view of the unusual trading activities, information disclosure violations and other breaches may occur in Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. The Measures clarify self-regulatory issues such as the judging criteria, the party responsible for supervision, and investigations into breaches. The Measures also lay down provisions on assistance to the opposite exchange in cross-border regulatory cooperation, request to the opposite exchange for regulatory purposes, regulation of and disciplinary sanctions on SEHK Securities Trading Service Company and SZSE members.
Furthermore, the Measures address the information disclosure, online voting, allotment shares issue of listed companies under Shenzhen Connect; as well as the rights issues, open offer, transfer of custody, margin trading and securities lending, etc. under Hong Kong Connect.

4.What do the Suitability Guidelines and the Mandatory Provisions mainly include?

The Suitability Guidelines and the Mandatory Provisions mainly define investor suitability requirements; and elaborate on how SZSE members guide investor suitability under Hong Kong Connect.
The Suitability Guidelines, including 19 articles, mainly address the scope of application, investor obligation of Hong Kong Connect trading, SZSE members’ on-going management and service to their clients, and SZSE’s supervision and inspection for its members. The Suitability Guidelines are the main basis for the investor suitability management system of Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
The Mandatory Provisions mainly contain the risk disclosure statement provided by SZSE members to investors, including the risks that may arise from the differences in laws and regulations between the Mainland and Hong Kong, dynamic adjustment of eligible shares, different clearing and settlement systems, and risk of technical failure. The Mandatory Provisions highlight some issues to investors who need to pay special attention, such as price fluctuations of small and mid-cap shares, different risk alert and delisting systems, and market fluctuation adjustment mechanisms. SZSE members must draw up the Risk Disclosure Statement for Hong Kong Connect Trading base on the Mandatory Provisions, require investors to sign it and to confirm that they become aware of all the risks involved. SZSE members should also request investors to note the risk of losses they may suffer when trade in Hong Kong Connect.

5.What is the difference between Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in terms of the scope of eligible shares? What are the characteristics?

The eligible shares for Shenzhen Connect include the constituents of SZSE Component Index and SZSE Small/Mid Cap Innovation Index with a minimum market capitalization of RMB 6 billion, and SZSE-listed A shares of A+H companies, but excluding shares that are put under risk alert, suspended from listing, or in the pre-delisting period. The latest periodic adjustment review of the relevant indices shows that 881 shares meet the criteria under Article 16 of the Measures, including 267 SZSE Main Board-listed shares, 411 SME Board-listed share and 203 ChiNext-listed shares, of which 17 are A+H shares. This highlights SZSE’s characteristics as a gathering place of emerging industries with the distinctive feature of growth. Currently, the above-mentioned A shares have an average market capitalization of RMB 17.4 billion, representing 74 percent of the total market capitalization of Shenzhen market and accounting for 68 percent of the average daily trading value.
The eligible shares of Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect include the constituents of Hang Seng Composite LargeCap Index, constituents of Hang Seng Composite MidCap Index, constituents of Hang Seng Composite SmallCap Index with a minimum market capitalization of HKD 5 billion, and SEHK Main Board-listed H shares of A+H companies. However, the eligible shares of Hong Kong Connect exclude H shares of A+H companies whose A shares are put under risk alert by SZSE, or are suspended from listing by SZSE, or have entered the pre-delisting period or the H shares of A+H companies whose A shares are traded on the Risk Alert Board of SSE, neither. The latest periodic adjustment review of the relevant indices also shows that there are 416 eligible shares for Hong Kong Connect, including 89 A+H shares. Currently, the above-mentioned shares have an average market capitalization of HKD 47.5 billion, representing 87 percent of the total market capitalization of SEHK-listed shares and accounting for 92 percent of the average daily trading value.
The difference between the Hong Kong Connect under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect in terms of eligible shares is that Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect extends the scope of eligible shares to constituents of Hang Seng Composite SmallCap Index with a minimum market capitalization of HKD 5 billion and SEHK Main Board-listed H shares of all A+H companies that are listed on SZSE or SSE.

6.What is your main consideration when introduces the market capitalization as a screening criterion? How does it apply?

The eligible shares of Shenzhen Connect include a group of shares on the SME Board and ChiNext market, and the eligible shares for Hong Kong Connect under the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect expand to the constituents of Hang Seng Composite SmallCap Index. In order to prevent the risk of cross-border market speculation and manipulation of small and mid-cap shares, we introduce the market capitalization as a screening criterion and clarify the application circumstances of market capitalization in the eligible share adjustment mechanism. For Shenzhen Connect, the threshold is set at RMB 6 billion for constituents of SZSE Component Index and SZSE Small/Mid Cap Innovation Index, and for Hong Kong Connect under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the threshold is set at HKD 5 billion for constituents of Hang Seng Composite SmallCap Index, a new addition compared to the Hong Kong Connect under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
As for the criterion of market capitalization, firstly, the criterion is only applicable to periodic adjustment of constituents of relevant indices. In order to avoid frequent adjustment of eligible shares due to volatility of market capitalization that would unnecessarily affect market investment and operations, the criterion of market capitalization will only be applied during periodic adjustment of constituents of relevant indices. Secondly, the review period and calculation method are consistent with the periodic adjustment of constituents of relevant indices. The market capitalization of eligible shares for Shenzhen Connect is calculated using the average daily market capitalization of A shares in the 6 months prior to the deadline for periodic review of the relevant index, while the market capitalization of eligible shares for Hong Kong Connect is calculated using average month-end market capitalization of SEHK-listed shares in the 12 months prior to the deadline for periodic review of the index. Thirdly, the screening criterion of market capitalization does not apply to A+H shares that are dual-listed in the Mainland and Hong Kong.

7. Under the Joint Announcement, there is no aggregate quota control for both Shenzhen Connect and Shanghai Connect, but there are still a daily quota of RMB 10.5 billion for Southbound Hong Kong trading and a daily quota of RMB 13 billion for Northbound Shenzhen trading. Is the quota management mechanism consistent with that of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect?

The Joint Announcement does not impose an aggregate quota control, which will further facilitate the opening up of China’s financial market and promote RMB internationalization and convertibility on the capital account. As is the case for Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, in order to prevent the risk of large cross-border fund flows, a daily quota is set for Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. That is, RMB 13 billion for the Northbound Shenzhen Trading and RMB 10.5 billion for the Southbound Hong Kong Trading under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. The rule of aggregate quota control is the same as Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. Besides, the quota calculation formula, measurement unit, quota control mechanism, exchange rate conversion and the method of publishing the quota usage are all exactly consistent with that under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

8.Is the suitability management system for Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect consistent with that under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect? As a number of ChiNext-listed shares will be selected as eligible shares for Shenzhen Connect, do investors need to follow the suitability requirements for ChiNext when trading ChiNext-listed shares through Shenzhen Connect?

As for trading under Hong Kong Connect, the suitability requirements for investors are the same as that under Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. That is, participating investors must be institutional investors, or individual investors who hold an aggregate balance of not less than RMB 500,000 in their securities and cash accounts. They also need to complete relevant procedures as set forth in the Suitability Guidelines.
As for trading under Shenzhen Connect, the Joint Announcement has made it clear that only institutional professional investors who are defined base on the Hong Kong rules and regulation are eligible to trade shares that are listed on SZSE’s ChiNext market at the initial stage. Other investors may subsequently be allowed to trade such shares should be subject to the resolution of related regulatory issues. Article 3 of the Several Provisions on the Mutual Stock Market Access Mechanism between the Mainland and Hong Kong (Exposure Draft) issued by the CSRC prescribes that “Investors shall comply with the investor suitability regulations and operational rules of the jurisdiction where their appointed securities companies or brokers are located.” The Measures issued by SZSE further clarify that “Investors shall comply with investor suitability regulations and operational rules of Hong Kong stock market when they participate in the SZSE ChiNext market through Shenzhen Connect.”
The aforementioned provisions show that the market suitability management issued both by the CSRC and the SZSE ChiNext market do not apply to investors who trade ChiNext-listed shares through Shenzhen Connect, but investors should comply with relevant regulations and rules of Hong Kong stock market.

9.Both Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect include Hong Kong Connect. Compared to Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the scope of eligible shares for the Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is increased. What kinds of risk do investors should pay special attention to? What arrangement does SZSE has in place for investor education?

The scope of eligible shares for the Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect is extended to cover a group of eligible small cap shares in Hong Kong stock market. On one hand, the extension offers more diversified investment choices for Mainland investors and satisfies the need of investors with varied risk preferences. On the other hand, the extension requires higher demand on investor investment knowledge and risk tolerance. Small and mid-cap shares generally are small in size with unstable performance and volatile stock prices. Moreover, there are differences between Hong Kong and the Mainland in terms of information disclosure, corporate actions and delisting system. Therefore, investors should pay special heed to manipulation risk and speculation risk of small and mid-cap shares, especially for share price fluctuation risk and delisting risk. They should draw a lesion from the case of Hanergy TFP to avoid heavy investment losses.
In order to protect investors’ legitimate rights and interests, SZSE will extensively carry out risk disclosure and investor education work soon. Firstly, SZSE will distribute brochures, Q&As, risk case columns through different sorts of channels including websites, microblogs and WeChat to create a special section on the service platform “Easy Analysis” offering specific promotion and investor education. Secondly, we will intensify risk disclosure. SZSE will require its members to add information in the risk disclosure statement in view of the characteristics of small and mid-cap shares so as to fully disclose risk to investors. SZSE will also require investors to sign a special risk disclosure statement which warns investors to make decisions prudentially. Thirdly, SZSE will guide its members to complete investor education systems of Hong Kong Connect, to develop investor education work plans, to strengthen internal trainings, to fulfill their duties of suitability management and to enhance their service to investors earnestly.
On this occasion, we also remind investors that they should familiarize with the relevant regulations in Hong Kong stock market. Investors should also pay adequate attention to the trading risk when they carefully participate in trading in light of the investor suitability requirements and their own risk tolerance under Hong Kong Connect.

10. After the issuance of the Joint Announcement, SZSE has vowed to implement the philosophies of “Supervision according to Law, Stricter Regulation and Comprehensive Supervision”, to strengthen monitoring, to prevent the risk of cross-border speculation and to crack down on malfeasances such as market manipulation and insider trading. What specific measures will the SZSE take to enhance cross-market regulation after the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect?

Regulation of cross-border trading is complicated as the Mainland differs from Hong Kong to a great extent in terms of legal system, trading rules, investor structure, investment philosophy, etc. Experience from Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect showed that the regulatory authorities and exchanges from two sides conducted cooperation by signing MoUs on regulatory enforcement. They jointly combated cross-border illegal activities including market manipulation and insider trading with good effect. SZSE will, under the unified leadership and arrangement of the CSRC, proactively learn from the experience of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, take effective measures to further prevent cross-border speculation risk and maintain the safe and smooth operation of the market.
Firstly, we will establish a regulatory cooperation mechanism with HKex. SZSE will tighten supervision over irregular activities and draw up pertinent measures for the key and difficult points in market surveillance so as to enhance the efficiency of cross-market regulation. In addition, SZSE will leverage on its geographical advantages to strengthen communications and collaboration with HKex to set up green channels for major and emergent events. Secondly, SZSE will establish a three-party regulatory cooperation mechanism with HKex and SSE. It will learn from the experience of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to create a regular liaison meeting mechanism which provides investigative assistance and regulatory collaboration for joint regulation through the exchange of information, data and regulatory assistance. Thirdly, we will tighten supervision of trading under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect to timely detect and timely stem unusual trading activities. Moreover, SZSE will step up crackdown on illegal activities such as insider trading and market manipulation by Mainland investors through Shenzhen Connect. Abnormal accounts suspected of illegal activities will be reported to the CSRC for investigation and punishment.

11.According to the Joint Announcement, from the date of this joint announcement to the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, it will take approximately four months to make preparations. What about current progress of your preparatory work? What are your other priority tasks to be accomplished next?

After the CSRC and the SFC issued the Joint Announcement on August 16, all the parties concerned have sped up their preparatory work. Currently, SZSE, SEHK and CSDC have formulated main rules. The stock exchanges and clearing companies from the two sides have completed the development and mutual simulation tests of technical systems. Therefore, all the preparatory work moves forwards in an orderly way. Recently, SZSE and CSDC jointly issued a notice calling for joint participation from all the market entities concerned in the initiation of full-scale preparatory work. So far, all the relevant securities companies have enhanced organizational guarantee by setting up relevant taskforces. Some of them have already completed technical development and are expected to finish preparation soon.
Next, with careful organization and close cooperation under the united arrangement of the CSRC, SZSE ensure that the preparation will be completed timely and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program will be initiated smoothly and operated safely. Firstly, we will solicit public opinions refers to the draft rules including the Measures; and we endeavor to release the finalized rules as quickly as possible. Secondly, we will actively carry out market organizing activities. In the next few days, SZSE will join hands with CSDC to provide business and technical training for its members and market entities, create smooth communication and answering mechanisms and provide them with forceful support and safeguards. Thirdly, we will promote technical development of market entities, provide technical support to them and organize networking and simulation tests participated by all the parties concerned, so that they become well-prepared technically. Fourthly, we will conduct risk disclosure and investor education activities through multiple channels and in many ways, including distribution of investor education materials such as brochures, columns and investor education lecturers for SZSE members. Fifthly, we will launch international road shows to enhance the influence of the Mainland capital market so as to create a favorable international market environment for the smooth launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

12. What preparatory work should market entities such as securities companies do in order to ensure the smooth initiation and safe operation of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect?

Market entities such as securities companies are important participants in Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. As such, whether they are timely well-prepared has a direct bearing on the smooth initiation and safe operation of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. In order to advance the relevant work in an orderly manner, SZSE and CSDC Shenzhen Branch released the Circular on Initiation of the Preparatory Work relating to Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (“Circular”) on August 22, asking securities companies and other market entities to actively make business and technical preparations for Hong Kong Connect under Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
The Circular requires securities companies to carefully develop implementing schemes and plans for Hong Kong Connect, to accelerate technical development and test, to provide organizational guarantee and staff support, to set up taskforces and to perform their work refers to investor education and suitability management well.
We hope that securities companies and other market entities keep close communication and work in close collaboration according to the deployment and requirements of the CSRC, SZSE and CSDC. Securities companies and market entities should complete technical development and preparation by the end of this September. Their technology readiness level should meet the requirements for participation in relevant tests that carried out by SZSE and CSDC, and finish all the preparatory work in early November for the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

13.Will the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect eliminate the price gap between A shares and H shares?

The root cause for the price difference between A shares and H shares is that the Mainland and Hong Kong markets are relatively independent from each other, shares in the two markets cannot be converted and there is not a good arbitrage mechanism. Experience from Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect reveals that though the discount/premium index of A/H shares was only 95 on April 10, 2014 when the CSRC and SFC issued the joint announcement on Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the price differential failed to narrow as a result of the launch of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, but rather, it rose from 102.14 on November 17, 2014 when the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect was officially launched to 139.75 on December 31, 2015, and currently at the level of 126.23, with no sign of price convergence as expected by market participants. Besides, investors from two sides have had limited participation in the other market which indicates that the two markets are still relatively independent from each other. Therefore, in the short term, the possibility that Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect would narrow down the price gap between A/H shares seems remote. In the long run, with continued and deepened mutual market access, the two markets will interact with each other in terms of investor structure, investment philosophy, cash flows, etc. Therefore, communications between the two markets will become increasingly close, which would help gradually narrow the price difference between A/H shares.

14. What is your expected date to release the finalized “Measures” after the solicitation of public opinions is completed?

The Measures are the basic rules for Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program and also the main rule basis for securities companies to provide relevant service for the program and for investors to participate in the program. The Suitability Guidelines and the Mandatory Provisions are the key supporting rules for the Measures and also the rule basis for securities companies to implement the investor suitability management, to intensify risk disclosure and to protect investors’ legitimate rights and interests. We welcome all valuable opinions and suggestions from all market participants and all circles of society on the aforesaid rules. We will seriously study the input from all sides, make revisions and improvements. After completing statutory approval procedures, we are going to release the final versions as quickly as possible.