China said the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme is functioning normally, denying reports that it temporarily halted the stock exchange link over political tensions with the U.K.
The reports on the scheme's suspension "do not match facts," China Securities Regulatory Commission spokesman Chang Depeng said at a press briefing, according to a Jan. 3 Reuters report.
Reuters previously reported Jan. 2 that China blocked the Stock Connect in response to the U.K.'s stance on protests in Hong Kong that China has blamed on foreign interference in its internal affairs. Also playing a role in the move was London's reaction to the detention of a former employee at the U.K. consulate in Hong Kong, it added.
Following the report, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was not aware of the specifics regarding the suspension, while adding that it hopes that the U.K. "can provide a fair and unbiased business environment for Chinese companies" investing in Britain.
The scheme, which allows cross-border listings between the London Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, was formed to strengthen bilateral relations between the two economies, provide companies and investors access to both markets, and open up China's capital markets to the wider world.
SDIC Power Holdings CO. LTD. was set to make use of the scheme but postponed the deal last month, citing poor market conditions. However, five sources told Reuters that Beijing's impending suspension of the stock exchange link was the underlying motivation for the company's decision.