CSRC’s Guo Pledges Bigger Offshore Yuan Investment Quotas

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- China’s securities regulator said authorities have the ability to expand a program that allows institutions to raise yuan offshore for investment in the mainland if the existing allotment becomes insufficient.

Investment quotas under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors Program, also known as RQFII, were increased by 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) in November. They “can be expanded further when needed,” Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said yesterday in Beijing, while attending annual meetings of the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature.

Chinese policy makers have stepped up efforts to bring long-term overseas investors into domestic markets to boost confidence. The CSRC last week broadened the types of investors allowed to take part in the RQFII program, adding financial institutions registered in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong units of Chinese banks and insurers. Earlier participation was limited to Chinese brokerages and fund-management firms.

China approved the RQFII program in December 2011. A total of 27 offshore units have been awarded quotas of 70 billion yuan ($11.2 billion) to invest, according to the CSRC. Of that amount, 27 billion yuan has gone into bonds, and 43 billion yuan into exchange-traded funds, the watchdog said. China’s currency, the yuan, is also known as the renminbi.

The current allotment is “sufficient” for now, Guo said yesterday. Available RQFII quotas were increased to 270 billion yuan in November. Guo had earlier also said that ceiling could be raised by 10 times.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Aipeng Soo in Beijing at asoo4@bloomberg.net; Zhang Dingmin in Beijing at dzhang14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net