(Adds launching platform by mid-2017)
LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong bourse has appointed the former general manager of the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange as the head of its new commodities platform in mainland China, it said on Wednesday.
Guo Xiaoli, who has 28 years of experience in the commodities sector, was appointed chief executive of the spot commodities platform being developed in southern China by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, a statement said.
The platform in Qianhai, a new free trade zone near Hong Kong, is one of a series of initiatives HKEX has taken to boost its commodities business after the $2.2 billion takeover of the London Metal Exchange in 2012 at the top of the commodity boom.
The platform is due to be launched by mid-2017, a separate statement from HKEX said.
HKEX has said that the platform would begin trading metals before branching out into other commodities, pending regulatory approval, but previously had not given a launch date.
Guo set up the metals futures trading business at CITIC International and has served as deputy general manager at the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
"Mr Guo is an expert on the Mainland futures market from theory to practice and he brings a wealth of experience to our Qianhai venture," HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li said in the statement. (Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens)