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China forex regulator abandons quota limits

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In this Nov 28, 2012 photo, a clerk counts US dollar bills at a bank of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, East China's Anhui province. CHINA DAILY/ANN

China forex regulator abandons quota limits

China's foreign exchange regulator has decided to cancel the quota limits for foreign investors accessing mainland capital markets, a move to further open up the country’s financial sector, said a statement on Tuesday.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe) announced the removal of the ceiling, or the maximum investment amount, for foreign institutions investing in the onshore markets under two major schemes – the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme and the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme.

The State Council, the country’s cabinet, recently approved the measure. Since then, qualified foreign institutional investors can inject funds, without certain limitations of the amount, to the bond and stock markets, according to the statement on the Safe website.

The Safe is now applying to the State Council to cancel related administrative licensing, which is also one of the conditions that foreign investors are subject to under the two schemes, and the result will be announced after approval, it said.

The QFII and RQFII schemes, introduced in 2002 and 2011 respectively, were seen as the most significant policy during China’s opening up of its domestic capital markets. More than 400 institutional investors from 31 countries and regions have injected funds into the world’s second largest economy through the two schemes.

“It is a reform measure to further satisfy foreign investors’ demand on investing in China’s financial market,” said Safe spokeswoman Wang Chunying.

Meanwhile, the restriction on countries and regions as RQFII pilots has also been removed. “We welcome qualified institutions from all over the world to invest in the domestic securities using offshore renminbi,” said Wang.

Richard Pan, head of QFII investment at ChinaAMC, one of China’s largest mutual fund companies, said as the domestic financial sector is continually opening up, foreign investment may increase to 10 per cent of China’s A-share and bond markets in the next decade. CHINA DAILY

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