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Stability mechanism appeals to investors

(China Daily)

07:52, October 16, 2012

Chinese investors are showing interest in the European Stability Mechanism, the latest European bailout fund, a top European Union official said on Monday.

Meanwhile, a Chinese central bank official has pledged that the country will remain confident about the future of the euro.

The remarks came weeks after the EU officially adopted the first permanent weapon it will use against the severe financial troubles that have beset the region in the last four years.

During a recent road show to China, the fledging 500 billion euro ($650 billion) fund garnered investment interest from China's four main State-owned banks, from financial institutions and from large State-owned enterprises, according to Marco Buti, director-general for economic and financial affairs at the European Commission, the EU's executive body.

"Based on the experience of the fund's predecessor, the European Financial Stability Facility, we are confident about issuing these bonds, as we had no problem (selling them) even during more difficult periods," he said.

The road show team was led by top European officials, including the head of the European Stability Mechanism, and formed by the European Union and a German bank. While the Chinese government was not directly involved in organizing the team, some of the participants in it deal regularly with the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, on issues related to foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, Feng Runxiang, deputy director of international department at the central bank, said the Chinese government supports the European Union and has regularly exchanged opinions with the European Central Bank and with individual countries' central banks.

"We believe that the current troubles are temporary, for any new currency must go through a difficult period before it can genuinely become an important global currency," Feng said in a speech at Fudan University in Shanghai.

"China continues to have confidence in the future of the euro."

Proposed two years ago by eurozone ministers and officials, the European Stability Mechanism is an intergovernmental institution established under international law by a treaty signed by the 17 members of the eurozone, which use the euro as their currency.

The fund is the first of its kind into which the members will pay the initial money that is to aid in bailouts. The European Financial Stability Mechanism had only provided government guarantees.

The fund is expected to initially collect 80 billion euros by 2014. Each participating government is to contribute an amount proportionate to the size of its economy.

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