THE secretary-general of the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) says its rules can be changed to enable the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and in China both to be full members after 1997. Existing FIBV rules allow only one stock exchange in a country to be a full member. Other exchanges in the country can only be associates. Hong Kong has been a full member of FIBV since 1986. Its members represent 98 per cent of the world's stock-market capitalisation. Gerrit de Marez Oyens said yesterday that discussions had been held with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges on the possibility of their joining FIBV. But he said an application to FIBV could only be made by the two exchanges once certain compliance standards had been met. The vital one was the issuance of a national securities law. China's first national securities law, which has undergone seven revisions, is expected to be issued next March. The possibility of the two mainland exchanges being part of FIBV, however, has raised concerns about the status of the territory from 1997. Mr de Marez Oyens said rules could be changed if members wished it, so there could be two or more full members in one country. He cited as an example China, which would include Hong Kong after 1997. ''We can have Hong Kong as a full member, also Shanghai and Shenzhen, so long as they comply with our rules. ''We are a non-political organisation,'' he said, adding that it would only be possible after the political issues had been finalised. Discussions had not been concluded with the two exchanges on the possibility of their joining FIBV, he said. The secretary-general dismissed suggestions that Taiwan, which is a full FIBV member, would further complicate the issue. He was speaking on the first day of a two-day international seminar in Beijing on developing China's securities market, which marked the third anniversary of the opening of the Shenzhen exchange. Mr de Marez Oyens said the 33-year-old FIBV was an international organisation based in Paris that united all the world's international markets. It has 43 members, of which 33 are full members and 10 are associates. Members are offered voting rights and the latest information on the world's exchanges. More than 50 other exchanges, mostly in emerging markets, take advice from FIBV. The secretary-general told a large audience, including chiefs of the stock exchanges of South Korea, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, that self-regulation of a stock market was important. The two main focuses should be market surveillance and monitoring of exchange members. ''China, with its market just begun, should begin self-regulation. It's no good waiting for problems,'' he said. He gave examples of the benefits of self-regulation, including the adoption of a code of conduct that could go beyond what could be imposed by statute, and the direct accountability of self-regulators to their members.