BEIJING/SHANGHAI, March 7 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) is planning to launch equity options for blue-chip stocks this year, in a bid to provide more hedging tools for institutional investors, the exchange chief said.
"We are planning to launch individual stock options this year," SSE chairman Gui Minjie told reporters at a press conference held on the sidelines of China's parliament on Wednesday.
He said options trading would begin with simulated deals and then proceed to real trading to be launched once regulations are completed.
China launched equity index futures in 2008, and that those instruments remain the only equity derivatives currently in use.
In August last year regulators launched a securities finance pilot programme to boost margin trading, and last month they launched a new pilot to enable securities lending and short-selling of blue-chip stocks.
Gui also said approvals for initial public offerings (IPO) should be resumed as soon as conditions were ripe.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission earlier said it had no timetable for resuming IPO approvals, after suspending them in November to reduce equity supply and help stabilise the stock market. (Reporting by Laura Yin in BEIJING and Gabriel Wildau in SHANGHAI; Editing by Stephen Coates)