SHANGHAI, July 24 China's stock watchdog has
quickened the pace of approval for new investors in the Renminbi
Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) programme,
which allows foreign investors to buy Chinese stocks and bonds
using offshore yuan.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) approved
three new RQFII investors in June, the most it has done in a
month since December 2011 when it gave the thumbs up to nine
right after it launched the programme, CSRC data published late
on Tuesday showed.
The three are Hang Seng Investment Management Ltd, ICBC
(Asia) Investment Management Co Ltd and Taiping Asset Management
(Hong Kong) Co Ltd. A total of 22 RQFII investors had been
approved by the end of June, the data showed.
In a major expansion to the programme's scope, a CSRC
spokesman announced on July 12 that the government had decided
the RQFII programme would be extended to London, Singapore,
Taiwan and other unnamed locations. It presently is only
available to investors in Hong Kong.
But the government did not change the net quota for RQFII,
which stands at 270 billion yuan ($44 billion).
At the same time, the authorities almost doubled the quota
of the hard-currency denominated Qualified Foreign Institutional
Investor (QFII) scheme to $150 billion, as Beijing moves to
widen channels for foreign investors buying mainland stocks,
bonds and money market instruments.
However, much of the current QFII and RQFII quotas have been
under utilised as foreign investors remain leery of Chinese
equities and possible depreciation in the yuan's exchange rate
if the U.S. should wind up its monetary easing programme
prematurely. Less than half of the total available RQFII quota
has been taken up so far.
($1 = 6.1374 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeney; Editing by