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China to buoy QFII more aggressively


13:24, May 21, 2012

China will grant investment quotas by overseas funds in its domestic securities markets in a more swift and aggressive way before the country fully opens up its capital market with a convertible currency, according to the foreign exchange regulator on Sunday.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) will adopt fast-track procedures to approve investment quotas by medium- and long-term overseas funds, such as investment funds with foreign government background, overseas pension funds and insurance capital, the SAFE said in a statement on its website.

All overseas investment funds will be approved under the scheme of the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII), which is launched in 2002 by the Chinese government to allow licensed foreign investors to buy and sell the A-shares when capital accounts are still controlled in the country.

To encourage the inflow of overseas investment funds, the SAFE promised to allocate more quotas for those medium- and long-term QFII funds when they first apply, while "appropriately simplify" the management process of foreign currency and renminbi capital accounts.

The SAFE's bolder move came after the State Council, or China's Cabinet, hiked the country's total QFII quotas from previously $30 billion to $80 billion last month.

According to the QFII scheme, the China Securities Regulatory Commission grants QFII licenses and market access to foreign investors, while the SAFE approves quotas for individual QFII funds.

"The QFII operations over the past 10 years showed the scheme is an important measure to facilitate the open-up of our capital market and promote the yuan's convertibility," Sun Lujun, director of the Capital Account Management Department with the SAFE.

Sun noted the QFII scheme have played "an active role" in helping improve China's institutional frame work, investment concept, corporate governance, risk control, technologies and custodian and brokers' service quality.

Investment quotas totaling $26.01 billion for 138 QFII funds have thus far been approved in China as of last week, according to SAFE data.


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