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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Expanded QFII quotas signal of faster opening up

By Chen Jia  (China Daily)

13:54, April 05, 2012

Chinese regulators are promoting the opening-up of the capital markets by expanding quotas for foreign investment at a record pace, aiming to attract more overseas funds to boost the economy and accelerate the market-based reform of the financial system.

These moves might be the starting point for an accelerated capital account opening, and more foreign money inflows are expected to be involved in China's long-term investment projects in the coming months, analysts said.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has decided to raise the amount available for qualified foreign institutional investors, or QFII, by $50 billion, the largest increase since the launching of the pilot program in 2002.

The total QFII quotas now stand at $80 billion, a statement from the CSRC said on its website on Tuesday.

A surge of inward foreign investment could boost the country's economic development, which is being affected by slowing exports and a cooling property sector, said Cao Yuanzheng, chief economist with the Bank of China Ltd.

"It is a signal of the further liberalization of China's capital account, which is laying the foundation for the complete convertibility of the yuan and pushing a deeper reform of the financial system," Cao said.

The government may continue to improve the QFII investment program to draw more foreign long-term funds into the domestic capital market, said the CSRC statement.

Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday in Fujian province that slower GDP growth and the potential expansion of companies' losses might figure prominently in this year's economic situation.

Wen stated a goal at the start of this year to draw international investment into the domestic capital market.

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