THE Vancouver Stock Exchange is denying competing with the Hong Kong exchange in its bid to attract Hong Kong companies to be listed in Canada. Vancouver exchange president and chief executive officer Michael Johnson said his stock market was after smaller companies in Hong Kong which did not meet the territory's listing requirements. He said the smaller firms were 'a niche they [the Hong Kong exchange] do not serve'. He expected more Hong Kong companies to be listed on the Asian board at the Vancouver exchange. There are now 11 companies with a total market capitalisation of more than HK$2.1 billion on the board. 'They all have one thing in common. As young companies with a modest operating history, they need the venture capital financing that our market offers in order to 'grow business', ' he told the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Mr Johnson said the attraction was not in lax monitoring but rather the chance for these companies to mature before listing at their home exchanges. Corporate finance and listings vice-president John Boddie said Canadian securities authorities were still negotiating with the China Securities Regulatory Commission for state-run enterprises to be listed in Canada. Mr Boddie said he did not envisage any difficulties in reaching an agreement from the talks. Mr Johnson said talks were still progressing with Hong Kong over plans to set up a trading window to encourage direct trading of Canadian Asian-board listings from the territory.