KUWAIT Jan 20 China's foreign exchange
regulator has increased the amount which Kuwait's sovereign
wealth fund can invest directly in the Chinese securities
markets to $1 billion, state news agency KUNA reported on
The regulator awarded Kuwait an additional $700 million
quota on top of $300 million awarded in March last year, KUNA
said. Kuwait said last year that it was seeking a maximum quota
of $1 billion.
The quota allows the fund to buy yuan-denominated stocks and
bonds. Only five other foreign investors in China have quotas as
large as $1 billion, according to Reuters records; they are
Qatar Holding, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Norway's Norges
Bank, Government of Singapore Investment Corp, and
Singapore-based investment firm Temasek Fullerton.
Chinese officials were not immediately available to comment
on the KUNA report. But Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China
Securities Regulatory Commission, indicated last week that
authorities would continue to open up channels for overseas fund
inflows into China, lifting sentiment in the local stock market.
He told a forum that quotas for the Qualified Foreign
Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme, under which Kuwait is
investing, as well as a complementary programme, the Renminbi
Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme, could increase
tenfold, though he did not specify a time frame.
Until last month, the maximum quota for any QFII investor
was $1 billion, but the foreign exchange regulator has now said
funds can apply to invest over that amount.
Kuwait, one of OPEC's top crude oil exporters, has a
sovereign wealth fund managing assets well in excess of $300
billion. The fund said last October that its investments in
greater China, including Hong Kong, had grown to $15 billion,
While Gulf funds have historically preferred to invest in
Europe, many are expected to boost investment in Asia as growth
in the West slows and commercial ties deepen between the
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Andrew Torchia)