TAIPEI - Plans to link stock trading between Taiwan and Singapore will likely be completed toward the end of the year, rather than around July as previously estimated, a Taiwan stock exchange official said Thursday.

Taiwan and Singapore have been in discussions about a stock connect scheme that would open equity trading to investors in each other's market, but Taiwan has not yet decided how many of the shares listed on its main index would be included in such a plan.

"What is certain is that the common platform for the stock connect trading can be finished by the end of July," said the official who is familiar with the plans but spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Officials with the Taiwan Stock Exchange authorised to speak with media had no comment on the matter.

The July timeline had earlier been given by Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) has been eager to broaden its trading links to bolster its position after the launch of a similar link between Shanghai and Hong Kong. TWSE has also been discussing similar stock connect schemes with stock exchanges in Japan and London.

Establishing direct connections between exchanges has replaced mergers and acquisitions as the industry's main growth strategy, particularly in Asia.

Singapore Exchange Ltd said earlier this year it is also looking to formally link Southeast Asian bourses.