China's top brokerage Shenyin and Wanguo Securities has struck a co-operation pact with Taiwan's Core Pacific Securities amid closer cross-strait financial ties. While details have not been revealed, Taiwan's Economic Daily News quoted Core Pacific president Abraham Lin Keh-ming as saying the accord would involve activities from underwriting to broking and include a provision of assistance for Taiwan brokerages to list companies on mainland exchanges. Plans also had been mooted for the pair to join forces in the acquisition of enterprises and securities houses, the paper said. The deal underlines increasing interaction in financial and securities markets across the Taiwan Strait, with China under intense pressure to open its stock market to Taiwan capital and ventures with Taiwanese partners. This is highlighted by the unprecedented visit to the island by mainland securities officials this week, during which the pact was announced. Core Pacific's alliance with Shenyin and Wanguo comes as it has filed an application to the People's Bank of China to upgrade its Shanghai representative office to an investment consultancy firm under its own name. Core Pacific said it would be one of the first firms to make use of the decision by Taiwan's Board of Investment, effective July 1, to shift securities consulting from the list of sectors banned from indirect investment on the mainland, to a basis of case-by-case consideration. Recently, Taiwan Yuanta Securities - the biggest brokerage in Taiwan - clinched a deal to hold a controlling 51 per cent stake in First Shanghai Securities, the securities arm of Hong Kong-listed First Shanghai Investment. The contract would be signed in Taipei in September, the paper said. First Shanghai is part of Shenyin and Wanguo Securities - a result of a merger between Shanghai International Securities and Shanghai Shenyin Securities. Yuanta will carry out the acquisition for the mainland-backed company, through the injection of new capital by a Burmuda-incorporated company to form Yuanta First Shanghai Securities. Last year, Yuanta recorded a turnover of NT$3.83 billion (about HK$1.06 billion) with net profit of NT$950 million, accounting for 23.83 per cent of the combined earnings of Taiwan's domestic brokerages. The manager of Jih Sun Securities Co's international division, Lily Chan, yesterday said Taiwan allowed domestic brokerages to set up branches in China last week, which could trigger more co-operation among mainland and Taiwan brokerages. Most big Taiwan brokerages eyeing the China market have begun setting up offices in Hong Kong.