The latest move to allow cross-market stock investment in Shanghai and Hong Kong will further open up China's financial sector, but hurdles remain, delegates said at an ongoing international forum on Friday.
An announcement on Thursday to allow cross-market trading by mainland and Hong Kong investors on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges was praised by global financiers at the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia 2014 Annual Conference.
However, they argued that China should be more open in how financial sectors are managed and seek better governance but less controls to shift the sector from a centrally directed system to one that is commercially based and financially sound.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. It is indisputable to say that transparency with high-quality and reliable information is key for market growth, said Daniel L. Doctoroff, CEO of Bloomberg L.P..
It will also be of social good as open information gives more confidence to investors who are likely to invest more, thus driving economic growth, Doctoroff added.
Risk management is top priority for financial institutions, and sometimes outsiders find it hard to know the quality of the assets of Chinese institutions, said Juan Inciarte, executive vice president of Banco Santander S.A.
One way to become more transparent is by conducting stress tests, delegates said.
Stress tests of Chinese financial institutions would let the market know better about the sector's conditions and increased confidence would bring more capital, said Gary Parr, deputy chairman of investment bank Lazard Ltd, citing the U.S. practice.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has stress tested the largest U.S. banks every year since 2009, when the financial crisis plunged the country into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The annual checkup is designed to measure how well the industry would fare in another severe recession. It aims to ensure that banks could keep lending during a tough period.