DEFINITION of 'Shanghai Stock Exchange'
The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). Stocks, funds and bonds are all traded on the exchange, which has listing requirements including that a company must be in business and be earning a profit for at least three years before joining the exchange.
BREAKING DOWN 'Shanghai Stock Exchange'
Two main classes of stock for every listed company are traded on the exchange: A-shares and B-shares. B-shares are quoted in U.S. dollars, and are generally open to foreign investment. A-shares are quoted in yuan, and are only available to foreign investment through a qualified program known as QFII.
The largest stock exchange for Chinese equities is actually the Hong Kong Exchange, which has been trading H-shares in Chinese companies for many years; these equities have also been open to foreign investment. Most of the total market cap of the Shanghai Stock Exchange is made up of formerly state-run companies like major commercial banks and insurance companies. Many of these companies have only been trading on the exchange since 2001.