China scraps asset allocation restrictions on foreign investors

Updated: 2016-10-01 09:16


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China scraps asset allocation restrictions on foreign investors

A man checks share prices on his mobile phone while waiting for his coffee at a Starbucks branch in Beijing.[Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - China's securities regulator said on Friday it has removed asset allocation restrictions on qualified foreign investors to allow them greater freedom to invest.

In principle, neither the allocation mix for investors under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) nor the RMB-denominated Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII) programs will be restricted, Deng Ge, spokesperson for China's Securities Regulatory Commission, told a press conference.

Previously, China required overseas investors to invest at least 50 percent of their assets into stocks, and their cash ratio should not exceed 20 percent.

The move is the country's latest effort to open up its capital market.

China's currency, the yuan, is convertible for trade purposes under the current account, while the capital account, which covers portfolio investment and borrowing, is still largely controlled by the state over concern about sudden capital flows in and out of the country.

To gradually open the capital account, the government introduced the QFII and RQFII programs in 2003 and 2011 respectively. They give foreign investors the right to move quotas of money into the account to encourage controllable flows.

At the end of August, altogether 300 overseas institutions had received quotas amounting $81.5 billion under the QFII program, while the outstanding quota under the RQFII program came in at 510 billion yuan ($76.5 billion), official data showed.