Beijing municipal government officials have urged Hong Kong to give attention to the needs of mainland enterprises when it sets up the proposed second board. Beijing Securities Regulatory Commission vice-chairman Liu Nengyuan, at a seminar yesterday, said: 'While the second board should take care of the needs of the companies and the economy of Hong Kong, the needs of those in the mainland should also be taken into account.' Special attention, for example, in the drafting of listing requirements, should be given to facilitate the listings of high-quality small to medium-sized companies in the mainland, he said. 'The mainland's two stock markets cannot satisfy the needs of a large number of companies. A second board in Hong Kong can provide another chance for these companies,' Mr Liu said. High-technology companies had become a new growth area for Beijing and the overseas listings of them, especially through the second board in Hong Kong, would be a focus, he said. Putting them under stricter supervision in Hong Kong would also help improve the management of these companies, he said. Mr Liu said the second board should require the underwriters to take full responsibility towards the listed companies and should have more stringent supervision mechanisms to protect investors. Beijing vice-mayor Zhang Mao said he hoped the second board in Hong Kong could provide a fund-raising channel for the 6,000-plus hi-tech companies in the capital, which were short of capital and funding channels. At the same time, they would help bring vitality to the Hong Kong stock market, he said. The majority of these companies are private firms, which usually are given low listing priority. The working group set up by the Hong Kong stock exchange to study the regulation and structure of a second board is expected to come up with a plan next year for the launch of the new market.