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UPDATE 1-Shanghai financiers propose restructuring city's bourse for listing -paper

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SHANGHAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Some of Shanghai’s top financiers proposed restructuring the Chinese commercial hub’s membership-based stock exchange into a shareholding company eligible for listing as soon as possible, Chinese newspaper the Paper said on Monday.

Restructuring the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) from a public service provider into a for-profit outfit would help make it more transparent, commercially-oriented and globally competitive, the paper added, citing the recommendations.

The proposals came from 20 members of the Shanghai commmittee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, it said.

Among these are the chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, and Shanghai branch heads of the Export-Import Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China.

It was not immediately clear how likely the suggestions are to be adopted by China’s top decision makers. The exchange is supervised by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), which reports to the State Council, or China’s cabinet.

The exchange did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

China is accelerating development of its capital markets to fund innovation amid a rift in ties with the United States, which has banned investment in Chinese companies alleged to have links to the military.

It also plans to kick Chinese companies off U.S. exchanges if they do not meet U.S. auditing rules.

The proposals also come as global financial centers, such as New York, London and Hong Kong, compete bitterly for capital and listing resources.

Many of the world’s biggest exchanges, such as Intercontinental Exchange Inc, Nasdaq Inc, London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Boerse AG are publicly traded.

The proposal says the Shanghai’s exchange’s structure and management mechanism has hampered development of capital markets and international competitiveness besides undermining the city’s development into a global financial center, the paper said.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited is an apparent beneficiary of China’s capital market reforms. Its Hong Kong-listed shares surged 8.3% on Monday to a record high, having jumped more than 30% this month on the back of robust inflows into Hong Kong from mainland China. (Reporting by Engen Tham, Wang JIng and Samuel Shen; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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