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China Fulfils WTO Commitments on Opening up Capital Market
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A senior official said on Monday that China had fully fulfilled its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on opening up its capital markets.


"As an emerging market, China not only made great commitments to opening up its securities industry upon its entry into the WTO, but also fully fulfilled those commitments," said Liu Xinhua, chairman assistant of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).


CSRC statistics show that China had ratified eight joint-venture security companies and 24 joint-venture fund management companies by the end of November. The share proportion of foreign capital was as high as 49 percent in 11 of the fund management companies.


Fifty-eight foreign security institutions can now operate B share stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, according to CSRC.


Five years ago, China promised to allow foreign investors to conduct B share trading in its stock markets after the WTO entry. Joint ventures are also part of the commitments.


Liu said that over the past five years, China had taken many measures to open up its capital market, which had resulted in rising foreign investment.


A recent report showed that qualified foreign institutional investors (QFIIs) had overtaken securities dealers as the second largest investor group in the Renminbi-dominated A-share market, second only to security funds.


Statistics showed QFIIs owned an equity value of more than 24 billion yuan (US$3 billion) in 214 listed companies, a steady growth from 20.1 billion yuan in 194 companies in the first six months.


By the end of November, China had granted a total investment quota of US$8.645 billion to 52 QFII companies since 2003, when the government launched the QFII program to allow foreign investment banks, insurance companies and annuity funds to enter the domestic capital market.


"We will expand the scale of QFII and introduce various types of qualified foreign institutional investors," said Liu.


The official also promised to further open up China's capital market and improve relevant regulations.


(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2006)


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