Shanghai lets financial firms resume work as COVID-19 curbs ease

Shanghai lets financial firms resume work as COVID-19 curbs ease


Shanghai authorities have granted approval to 864 of the city's financial institutions to resume work, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday (May 18), as it gradually eases a city-wide lockdown that began seven weeks ago.

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The move is part of the financial hub's plan to reopen broadly and allow normal life to resume after the lockdown was enacted to curb China's worst outbreak since the coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan in late 2019 halted most economic activity.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shanghai Futures Exchange, and China Financial Futures Exchange were among the 864 financial institutions put on a "white list" of companies allowed to resume work published by the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau and provided by the sources that were reviewed by Reuters.

Bank of Communications, and the Shanghai branches of other state lenders including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and China Construction Bank, also appeared on the list.

Financial institutions who conduct nationwide businesses or system operations were given priority, the sources said, while those who were currently operating under a so-called "closed-loop" management or provided key financial support for companies to resume work were also considered first.

Shanghai authorities plan to publish more "white lists" on a weekly basis, allowing more financial firms to resume operations, according to the regulatory bureau notice.