SHANGHAI Jan 8 China's Ministry of Commerce may
ask Chinese companies to apply for approval from the ministry if
they want to invest $100 million or more overseas, it said in new
draft rules published late on Wednesday, after a few major
Chinese companies reported big book losses on investments abroad.
Companies may also need the ministry's approval if they want
to invest in countries which have no diplomatic relations with
China, foreign infrastructure projects or highly risky countries
or regions, it said in new rules that were published to seek
public feedback until Jan. 20.
Hit by the global financial crisis some Chinese firms have
seen the value of their overseas investments dwindle, with the
country's second biggest insurer, Ping An Insurance (Group)
(2318.HK)(601318.SS), booking a loss of about 15.7 billion yuan
($2.3 billion) on its investment in Fortis NV FOR.BR FOR.AS.
The country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, the China
Investment Corp (CIC), has also suffered heavy paper losses on
its high-profile stakes in U.S. private equity firm Blackstone
Group (BX.N) and bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N).
(Reporting by Lu Jianxin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)