China revises Stock Connect rules to include HK-listed dual-class shares

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese bourses revised rules that would allow Hong Kong-listed dual-class shares to be included in the Stock Connect scheme for the first time, potentially benefiting Xiaomi Corp 1810.HK and Meituan Dianping 3690.HK.

The rule change, which takes effect on Oct. 28, came 15 months after China and Hong Kong bourses started work towards including dual-class shares in the investment link following a rare public dispute over the issue.

Dual-class shares give greater voting rights to company founders over individual investors.

Under revised rules published late Friday separately by the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, stocks qualified for inclusion must meet certain thresholds in terms of liquidity, market cap and trading period.

For example, they must have a minimum listing history of six months plus 20 trading days on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK, and a minimum market cap of HK$20 billion ($2.6 billion) on average during the 183 days prior to the vetting.

Xiaomi and Meituan, China’s biggest platform for on-demand services, both listed in Hong Kong last year with two classes of shares, after the Hong Kong exchange changed its rules to allow companies to do so.

Days after Xiaomi’s initial public offering (IPO), the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges said that they would not allow companies with two classes of shares to be included in Stock Connect, triggering a dispute with HKEX.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Alun John; Editing by Tom Hogue