March 31, 2016 / 5:55 AM / 3 years ago

China forex regulator buys $4.2 bln in stocks via new platform - media

SHANGHAI, March 31 (Reuters) - China’s foreign exchange regulator has bought mainland stocks worth over 27 billion yuan ($4.18 billion) via three low-profile investment firms it controls, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.

Buttonwood Investment Platform Ltd, 100 percent owned by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), and Buttonwood’s two fully-owned subsidiaries, have bought shares in a total of 13 listed companies, the newspaper reported, citing top 10 shareholder lists in the companies latest earnings reports.

Shanghai Securities News said the investments are part of SAFE’s strategy to diversify investment channels for the country’s massive foreign exchange reserves.

Recent earnings filings show Buttonwood is among the top 10 shareholders of Bank of China, Bank of Communications , Shanghai Pudong Development Bank , Everbright Securities and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Calls to SAFE were not answered.

Buttonwood was the vehicle SAFE used to invest in China’s Silk Road Fund, which was launched in December 2014, according to the fund’s official website.

Buttonwood is a new platform China’s government uses to buy domestic shares, according to Shanghai Securities News. The government also uses Central Huijin Investment Ltd, and China Securities Finance Corp, the state margin lender, to buy A shares.

$1 = 6.4663 Chinese yuan Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Sam Holmes

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