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China’s Epic Battle With Capital Flows Is More Intense Than Ever

  • Officials are being more vocal about the dangers of hot money
  • Record inflows risk turning into outflows if not controlled
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WATCH: Foreign capital piled into China’s stocks and bonds last year. Now, regulators are warning about the dangers posed to financial stability.(Source: Bloomberg)

In 2020, China’s efforts to lure foreign funds into its borders finally paid off. Investors from New York to London clamored for its stocks and bonds, cementing the nation’s position on the global stage.

Against the wreckage of the global economy and with unprecedented stimulus unleashed by central banks, China’s resilience to the coronavirus and its higher-yielding assets looked attractive. The result was a 62% increase in overseas holdings of local stocks from a year earlier to 3.4 trillion yuan ($520 billion), a 47% fillip for the bond market to 3.3 trillion yuan, and the Chinese currency’s best quarter in more than a decade. Foreign investors bought another net $53.5 billion worth of Chinese debt in January and February this year, according to Gavekal Dragonomics.