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Shanghai Financial Firms Return to Work as Lockdown Eased

Banks and key financial entities in Shanghai are among 864 institutions that have been allowed to return to work in China’s financial centre, sources said on Wednesday


Shanghai has been devoid of people during the Covid lockdown, but now financial outlets are returning to work.
A man walks past Lujiazui financial district, seen across the Huangpu river, amid the lockdown in Shanghai to contain the coronavirus, on March 28, 2022. File photo: Aly Song, Reuters.

 

Banks and key financial entities in Shanghai are among 864 institutions that have been allowed to return to work in China’s financial centre.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange, plus the city’s two Futures Exchanges and the China Foreign Exchange Trade System, are among the first agencies permitted to resume work as officials ease a huge lockdown that was first imposed seven weeks ago.

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 and halted most economic activity.

Some 864 institutions were put on a “white list” of companies allowed to resume work published by the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, sources said on Wednesday.

The Bank of Communications, and Shanghai branches of other state lenders such as the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank, the Agricultural Bank and China Construction Bank, were also 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.

 

ALSO SEE:  Shanghai Aiming For a Return to Normal in June

 

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.

The state-owned newspaper Shanghai Securities News reported the approval early on Wednesday. But the Shanghai government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Bank of Communications said an outlet in Jinshan district resumed business on Wednesday.

“From today and onwards, some outlets of Bank of Communications’ Shanghai branch will gradually resume operations in accordance with Shanghai‘s pandemic prevention and control situations,” the lender said in a news release.

More than 20,000 bankers, traders and other workers have slept over in their office towers in Shanghai‘s Lujiazui district since late March to keep China’s giant financial hub running during the lockdown.

Shanghai has already allowed key manufacturers from sectors including auto industry, life sciences, chemicals and semiconductors to resume production since late April, after the latest wave of infection showed signs of stabilising in the commercial hub that left vast majority of its 25 million residents confined at home.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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