HONG KONG - China's securities regulator said on Friday it has agreed to include exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in stock connect schemes with Hong Kong.

The formal launch date will be announced later as the process will take about two months to prepare, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement.

Stock connect schemes enable investors in mainland China and Hong Kong to freely trade stocks listed on exchanges in both locations.

In December, mainland China and Hong Kong bourses first said they planned to add ETFs to stock connect schemes.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Meg Shen; Editing by Hugh Lawson)