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China to allow individuals to invest abroad

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BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- China is considering allowing individuals to directly invest in overseas markets, a central bank official revealed on Thursday.

Currently, only institutions can invest abroad under a scheme called "Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors" (QDII). More than 100 institutions are qualified at present, with a combined quota of 76.8 billion U.S. dollars.

Wang Dan of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) said the central bank is working on a QDII2, to allow Chinese people to trade stocks on foreign bourses and hold other assets. In addition, the PBoC is considering "RMB Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors" (RQDII), which means institutions would be able to use the Chinese yuan to invest abroad rather than convert into local currency.

Both outbound and inbound investment across China's border are still subject to many restrictions as the country's capital account is not open and the yuan not fully convertible, though cross-border use of the yuan is being gradually liberalized.

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