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Higher QFII quota suggested

Updated: 2013-03-09 03:33
By Chen Jia ( China Daily)

The investment quota for qualified foreign institutional investors and those using renminbi should continue to expand until completely free capital flows into the stock market, a policy adviser said on Friday.

Under the framework of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, a document signed between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong to tighten commercial ties, Qianhai, in Guangdong province, will launch the pilot program for QFIIs to invest in the A-share market, said Chen Dongzheng, president of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

"Qianhai will also be the place to allow foreign individual investors to use renminbi to trade stocks on the mainland," said Chen, who is also a member of the country's top political advisory body.

The pilot program is likely to allow residents of Hong Kong and Macao, who can reach the investment thresholds, to buy shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, he said.

The total QFII quota has been extended to $80 billion from $30 billion and the quota for renminbi qualified foreign institutional investors, or RQFIIs, increased to 270 billion yuan ($43.4 billion) from the initial 20 billion yuan when the pilot program was launched in December 2011.

The Shanghai Composite Index, China's benchmark stock index, continued to retreat, hitting 2,318.61, a 0.24 percent decline, at Friday's close.

On Tuesday, at the opening of the 12th National People's Congress annual session, Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to continue accelerating the internationalization of the financial system and building a multi-level capital market.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's securities watchdog, permits commercial banks and securities companies in Hong Kong to join in the RQFII program, which can broaden the inflows of overseas funds to boost the mainland stock market.

Mark Makepeace, the founder and CEO of FTSE Group, said the A-shares may join the global stock benchmark index in three years, which will result in more foreign investors injecting money into the mainland.

Chen suggested supporting the development of cross-border exchange-traded funds and the growth of a cross-border bond market.

"Besides the overseas investment, private capital should also be attracted into the capital pool to support small and medium-sized businesses," Chen said.

However, he didn't outline any possible measures that the government may take to improve the investment.

According to data from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, about 4,700 venture capital companies are holding 164 million yuan, which will be invested into high-tech companies to promote the public stock exchange boards.

"The reform target is to allow qualified companies from different industries to list on the ChiNext, or China's Nasdaq-style board," Chen said.

He also called for speeding up the listing of city commercial banks and rural commercial banks to strengthen their capital through direct financing.

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