China's SAFE says not limiting fx sales to individuals: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s foreign exchange regulator has said it is not placing limits on foreign currency sales to individuals beyond the usual annual cap of $50,000, the state news agency Xinhua reported, in the government’s latest response to concerns about capital outflows.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) denied reports that Chinese banks had placed restrictions on foreign currency sales due to a surge in the number of people buying the U.S. dollar, which has appreciated against the yuan, Xinhua said.

China’s foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, posted their biggest annual drop on record in 2015, shedding $512.66 billion to $3.33 trillion, the central bank said last week.

“As usual, everyone with an ID card can freely buy foreign currency worth 50,000 U.S. dollars every year from Chinese banks... and those with proper reasons can buy more,” Xinhua quoted SAFE as saying on Wednesday.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam