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What are H-Shares?

H-shares are shares of Chinese companies that are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

How Do H-Shares Work?

Hong Kong is a 'special administrative region' of China. It was a British colony from the 1830s to 1997. Despite China's status as a communist country, Hong Kong is a major center of global capitalism and is a large financial center.

H-shares are denominated in Hong Kong dollars and are included in the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index.

Why Do H-Shares Matter?

In 2007, China allowed mainland Chinese investors to buy H-shares. Previously, these investors were only allowed to buy Shanghai-listed A-shares of listed companies (many of which were the same companies as those issuing H-shares). Foreign investors can buy and trade H-shares, which makes them more liquid than A-shares. Accordingly, the spread between the A-shares and H-shares of the same company can be very high.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.