Foreign Exchange Rules Related to Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFIIs) Released as Expected in China

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The QFII program, as a principal means for foreign investors to invest directly in China’s securities market, has undergone significant changes in the past year. Most recently, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC released the revised foreign exchange rules related to QFIIs 1 on December 7, 2012, which became effective on the same date. As illustrated in detail below, the revised QFII foreign exchange rules include three major changes: (i) allowing QFIIs to open RMB special deposit accounts for the purpose of trading futures (Futures Trading Accounts), (ii) allowing QFIIs that launch China Open-ended Funds to inject funds into the QFIIs’ accounts or repatriate the same outside China on a weekly basis, and (iii) abolishing the limit on the total investment quotas for three types of QFIIs. Not surprisingly to industry players in the QFII sector, the revised QFII foreign exchange rules continued the Chinese government’s efforts toward QFII liberalization made throughout the entire year of 2012.

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