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Daily Dispatches: the coming of multi-tiered capital markets.

China has finally introduced margin trading, short selling and index futures with a view to creating “multi-tiered” capital markets. Margin trading and short selling came first, limited to pilot projects involving a handful of brokers who are only allowed to trade the top 50 Shanghai-listed firms and the top 40 Shenzhen-listed firms. A couple of weeks later, on April 16, index futures – based on the CSI 300 Index – were rolled out. (China Economic Review)

The head of Prudential’s Asian operations has dismissed fears that a takeover of AIG’s regional business by the UK insurer, a long-time rival, will trigger mass defections among its 320,000 sales agents. (Financial Times)

Andrew Moss believes Asia is the next frontier for the financial-services industry. But the company he heads, British insurance giant Aviva, is only dipping its toe into this fast-growing market at a time when rival Prudential is plunging head first. The reason: It’s too early for insurers to chase Asia’s consumers, Moss says, and Aviva, which has a solid position in Europe, can afford to be a little late. (Wall Street Journal)

Banks in Shanghai are studying policies on mortgages for third or more homes and suspended new applications until clearer rules are issued as early as next week. (Shanghai Daily)

Citi has promoted its chief economist for Greater China, Minggao Shen, a veteran China observer, to serve as head of China research, as the bank’s investment research and analysis team continues to expand and strengthen coverage of the world’s fastest growing economy. (Finance Asia)

National Australia Bank’s $14bn takeover pitch for Axa Asia Pacific (APH) could stop rival bidder AMP from remaining a competitive force in the wealth management market, a new report has found. A Frontier Economics report commissioned by AMP found there would be significant negative market effects for the diversified wealth management group if the rival bid was approved by the competition regulator. (The Australian)

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