Geopolitical tensions may be straining relations between the U.S. and China, but Nasdaq – which has been attracting Chinese companies for the past quarter century – is still upbeat about its own business outlook there.
“We are bullish on China and will continue to be as we see more and more Chinese companies listed on Nasdaq in the months and years to come,” Vice Chairman Robert McCooey recently told the U.S.-China Business Forum in New York.
“The pipeline continues to be very strong for companies coming to the U.S. markets from China,” he said.
Through ups and downs in the global economy over the years, approximately 220 Chinese companies trade on the Nasdaq today. That group includes JD.com, Pinduoduo and Baidu.
A shadow over China fundraising lifted last December when the U.S. regulators said they had reached an agreement over auditing of Chinese-listed firms that had caused new offerings from the country to grind to a near halt.
“We really know how important this region is and will continue to be for Nasdaq and for the growth of the global economy,” McCooey told an audience of more than 100 attendees at the business forum on Aug. 29 via a video presentation. The gathering was organized by Forbes China and held at Forbes on Fifth.
McCooey has seen a lot in his 15-year tenure at Nasdaq. The graduate of the College of Holy Cross has held a number of key roles across New Listings and the Capital Markets Group, as well as building what is Nasdaq’s listings franchises in APAC and Latin America. Before joining Nasdaq in 2006, he founded the Griswold Company, a brokerage firm, from 1988 until 2006.
McCooey was optimistic about China listings in part because of the continued business growth in the country he saw during a trip there in June. He said he saw “the next generation of companies that are focused on AI and some of the most innovative type of technologies and types of businesses that are being built.”
“And what I saw was a continuation of what I had seen over the prior 14 years before the pandemic, and really a group of hardworking people that are building businesses and want to be seen as leaders on a global stage,” he said. “People were continuing to build innovative businesses and it shows why the Chinese economy continues to be so strong, and one that will continue to be strong for decades to come.”
Though McCooey remains optimistic about China’s overall prospects, he said Nasdaq is selective in its approach to listings. “It’s not our goal to try to convince a company that belongs in the local market to list on Nasdaq. There is a small group of companies every year that choose to list outside of their local market, and we certainly believe that those companies should be listed on Nasdaq,” McCooey said.
Nasdaq believes that it is an ideal choice for prospective listings in part because it has “built out a whole suite of services that really can help those companies transition from private to public,” along with services in investor relations, communications, and corporate governance, McCooey added.
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