Although some companies in Hong Kong and London have expressed interest in listing shares or issuing bonds in Shanghai, the lord mayor of the City of London does not consider the mainland city to be a threat. 'When an economy is growing, it is natural to have more than one financial centre in a country,' said Alderman Luder yesterday, visiting the city as part of an official trip to China, which included stops in Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing. Beijing recently announced its intention to turn Shanghai into an international financial hub by 2020. The news raised concerns about Hong Kong's future as a financial centre. HSBC Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, both blue chips listed in Hong Kong, have plans to list in Shanghai. In addition, HSBC and Standard Chartered said last week they would like to issue yuan-denominated bonds in Shanghai. Mr Luder said he was not surprised to see international firms considering fund-raising plans in Shanghai, which is turning into an international financial centre. 'Shanghai is not a threat to either Hong Kong or London. This is just like New York; it does not replace London,' he said. 'The development of Shanghai will not cut down opportunities for the other two cities, but rather it is sharing pieces of a bigger cake.' For Shanghai to develop as an international financial centre, the yuan would need to become an international convertible currency, he said. In addition, Shanghai would also need to have other amenities to attract expatriates, such as housing and education for their children. Mr Luder said China Investment Corp, the mainland's US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund, planned to set up an office in London, but he did not provide details. 'London would be a good market for CIC to have a base as London can be a gateway to invest in European markets,' he said. London has been hit hard by the financial crisis. The city's first initial public offering this year came only late last month. However, Mr Luder said London-listed companies had raised GBP37 billion (HK$453.84 billion) in the secondary market in the first five months this year, including the rights issue by HSBC in March.