The Isle of Man has been added to the list of approved jurisdictions by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, enabling companies incorporated on the Isle of Man to seek a listing on the exchange.

The approval has been made in recognition that the Isle of Man has been able to demonstrate equivalence in its standards of investor and shareholder protection to those available under Hong Kong company law. The news builds on the Isle of Man's success in attracting companies to list on the UK's AIM market through the Isle of Man.

Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell MHK, said: "The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong is assuming greater importance among the leading capital markets. Given the Isle of Man's proven credentials in Asia and unique status, for example, in facilitating manufacturers in greater China to import goods into the European Union, we see this endorsement by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as further strengthening the role that we are able to play in enabling international trade."

Juan Watterson MHK, Political Member of the Department of Economic Development responsible for financial services, commented: "This paves the way for the Isle of Man to attract foreign issuers to list on the HKSE. In recent years, the Island has become the leading jurisdiction for listing foreign companies on the UK's AIM market; a number of our commercial law firms already have considerable international expertise working with Asian lawyers including equity and debt issues by Isle of Man companies on other Asian exchanges and in some cases have representative offices in Asia. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and build on the Island's international reputation as a high quality International Business Centre, and this listing approval is a further example of this commitment"

The Isle of Man has also recently signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with China, strengthening its relationship with Asia. A signing ceremony took place on the Isle of Man in October between Anne Craine MHK, the Isle of Man's Treasury Minister, and Xiao Jie, the Minister (Commissioner) of the State Administration of Taxation of the People's Republic of China.

Minister Craine said: 'The visit of Minister Xiao and the signing of the agreement are important steps in building closer relations between China and the Isle of Man. The announcement that the Isle of Man is now an approved jurisdiction for the purposes of listing companies on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, the fact that Chinese businesses regularly use Manx companies for raising capital on the London AIM and research showing that the Isle of Man could increase the profitability of Chinese exporters to the UK and Europe, all indicate that economic ties between our countries will grow.'

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