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No shift in HK exchange's China strategy, says new CEO

HONG KONG, May 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s stock exchange operator should leverage its ties with mainland China as much as possible, its new chief executive, Nicolas Aguzin, said on Friday.

Aguzin took up his role as CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) on Monday, and is the first non Hong Kong or mainland Chinese to lead the company since it was formed in 2000.

HKEX has benefited from close ties to mainland China thanks to increasing flows via the stock connect scheme that links Hong Kong with mainland Chinese bourses, and a string of Hong Kong listings from large Chinese companies, initially led by state owned giants and more recently technology companies.

“I don’t anticipate a significant shift in our strategy around being ‘China anchored’. China is a very significant advantage that the Hong Kong exchange has and we should leverage it to the maximum possible,” Aguzin said in a video shared by HKEX.

Charles Li, Aguzin’s predecessor, launched a surprise and ultimately unsuccessful bid for the London Stock Exchange Group in 2019, the same year he set out a strategic plan for HKEX saying it should be “China anchored” and globally connected.

Aguzin also said he was looking forward to helping the exchange to continue to develop its fixed income, commodities and derivatives businesses.

Investors and analysts expect Aguzin to focus on diversifying the bourse’s product and revenue streams.

Reporting by Alun John Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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