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China Studies Plan for Retail Investment Abroad, Securities Says

China may publish details in May of a plan allowing individuals to invest in overseas capital markets, the Shanghai Securities News reported today, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Policy makers will meet after the Lunar New Year holiday next month to discuss definitions of investors and trustee arrangements under the qualified domestic individual investor program, the newspaper reported. Securities companies in Hong Kong have submitted proposals to Chinese regulators, according to the report.

China’s foreign-exchange regulator said in April it would gradually open more channels for capital outflows and relax limits on residents’ overseas investments, as it seeks to make the yuan a fully convertible currency. The nation has sought to reduce its reliance on the dollar after accumulating $3.31 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves, the world’s largest.

One suggestion from an association of Chinese securities companies in Hong Kong calls for investment quotas to be allocated to Chinese brokerages’ overseas subsidiaries, which in turn could parcel out the allotments to clients, according to the newspaper.

The People’s Bank of China lists the so-called QDII2 initiative as one of its major goals for 2013. The bank is preparing for the trial program, it said Jan. 11, without giving further details.

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