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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Financial hub dream still on track

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

09:11, January 10, 2012

SHANGHAI'S stock market did not perform well last year, but the city's foreign exchange and gold transactions were very active.

This helped complement losses in stocks and cement the city's position as a rising global financial center, Fang Xinghai, director of the Shanghai Financial Services Office, said yesterday.

And an industry index showed that the city's financial sector still improved in the first half of 2011 despite an unfavorable business climate.

"It is hard to summarize the performance of Shanghai's financial industry last year," Fang said. "When the stock market contracted, transactions of foreign exchange and gold were very active, and they helped to bolster overall performance."

Last year, the trading value of Shanghai's financial sector expanded nearly 2 percent from a year earlier, and capital directly raised jumped by around 20 percent year on year, Fang said, citing the latest data collected by his office.

In the first half of 2011, the trading value of the city's financial sector increased 7 percent annually to 166 trillion yuan (US$26.3 trillion), indicating a sharp deterioration in the second half of last year. The Shanghai Composite Index, a major gauge in China's two bourses, tumbled nearly 22 percent last year, making the country the worst performing stock market in the world.

But the transaction of foreign exchange was bolstered thanks to anticipation of a stronger yuan, and people bought more gold to seek protection from the influence of weak economic performances around the world.

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