A WIDE ranging study into the pros and cons of listing on overseas stock markets other than Hong Kong and New York will be carried out next year by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). 'One of the three main tasks of our international operations next year will be to explore more thoroughly the feasibility of overseas listing venues such as Singapore, Canada and Europe,' said Bei Duoguang, deputy director of the CSRC's department of international operations. Mr Bei said the CSRC was keen to widen the choices for Chinese enterprises seeking to float abroad but added that it would first want to know much more about alternative stock markets. So far, Chinese enterprises have primarily been listed in Hong Kong as H shares. New York has attracted two Chinese power companies to issue N shares and three more firms, including two airlines, are slated to join them. 'Different stock exchanges have different characteristics. We want to ensure that Chinese companies listing abroad will be able to turn these characteristics to their advantage,' Mr Bei said. 'That is why the CSRC, especially my department, will spend more time carrying out research on the various markets.' The London, Vancouver and Singapore stock exchanges have been actively courting the CSRC in a bid to attract mainland companies. But the CSRC has yet to sign memorandums of understanding to facilitate listings on these markets. Mr Bei said the possibility of Chinese stocks having dual listings - an option which has been raised in Hong Kong - would also be explored further by the CSRC. The watchdog's two main tasks next year will be to expand the range of stock products which Chinese companies can turn to when raising funds abroad and to look into setting up Sino-foreign unit trusts to invest in the Chinese stock markets. The CSRC recently allowed two B-share companies to sell convertible bonds in Switzerland and Luxembourg to raise funds for expansion. B shares are shares issued to foreigners by Chinese companies listed in Shanghai or Shenzhen. In another novel move, a machinery company will soon be allowed to issue American Depository Receipts through a private placement as it simultaneously issues B shares. 'This is an experiment. If it works well, we will extend the option to other companies to try it out elsewhere,' said Mr Bei, who declined to disclose the name of the company approved for the experiment. The China securities watchdog also allowed a B-share company to seek a secondary listing in Singapore recently. 'All these are new measures to liven up the B-share market, which is what we will focus on next year,' Mr Bei said. Detailed regulations governing transactions in B shares have been submitted to the State Council for approval. Mr Bei said that although there were plans to set up Sino-foreign unit trusts to invest in the Chinese markets, these were unlikely to come into effect next year - just as he ruled out a immediate merger of A shares and B shares.