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SAFE sets up office to invest foreign exchange reserves

By Hu Xiaocen (Shanghai Daily)

08:48, January 15, 2013

CHINA'S top currency regulator has set up an office to supervise entrusted loans of China's foreign currency reserves that provide credit for Chinese businesses investing overseas.

The office, SAFE Co-Financing, is in charge of the "innovative use" of the nation's foreign exchange reserves. The loans will be provided in line with market principles, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on its website today.

The administration said the entrusted loans to commercial banks are aimed at supporting Chinese companies' overseas expansion. The new business can widen the investment scope of foreign exchange reserves and secure the value of the holdings.

The office was established in 2011, according to SAFE's annual report.

China holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of US$3.31 trillion at the end of last year. About 70 percent of such assets held by the central bank are in the US dollar, while gold accounts for only 1.6 percent, according to the statistics released by the International Monetary Fund.

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