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SHANGHAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - China's state planning agency said on Tuesday it had selected the first batch of 11 companies in a pilot scheme for 2017 that will allow them to issue foreign-currency bonds more flexibly, and efficiently.
Last year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) picked 21 companies for the scheme, as the government encouraged state firms to issue dollar bonds, and convert the proceeds into yuan to bolster the Chinese currency.
Kicking off the scheme for 2017, NDRC said it selected seven state banks, three non-banking financial institutions, and Huawei Technologies Co, giving them freedom to choose the timing and frequency of forex bond issuance, as long as they do not exceed the annual cap for foreign debt.
Previously, companies needed NDRC approval before they could sell bonds overseas.
The companies selected include China's top five state lenders, China Life Insurance Co and China Huarong Asset Management Co. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)