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  • China reforms QFII, RQFII but leaves critical problems untouched

    China reforms QFII, RQFII but leaves critical problems untouched

    China’s move to remove the quota limits on the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and renminbi QFII (RQFII) schemes could help in the long-term development of the country’s financial market. But this is not nearly enough. If the regulators want to see some serious change, they need to tackle two key hurdles facing foreign investors.

  • China opens up underwriting business, but does it matter?

    China opens up underwriting business, but does it matter?

    Foreign banks can now get a licence to act as lead underwriters for all deals in China’s domestic interbank bond market, signalling a further opening up of the Mainland’s financial market. But these licences will only make a marginal difference to a bank’s business.

  • China rate reform: a market but with a very visible hand

    China rate reform: a market but with a very visible hand

    China unveiled a new benchmark rate, the loan prime rate (LPR), for loans this week. While hailed as a groundbreaking step towards making its benchmark lending rate more market-driven, the mechanism for determining the LPR in fact grants the central bank more control over the country’s interest rates.

  • China’s research clampdown: a step in the wrong direction

    China’s research clampdown: a step in the wrong direction

    China’s securities firms are about to be subject to an alarming rule that will limit their capacity to provide independent research. The decision to grade firms on their ability to manage the reputation of China and guide public opinion is a big step back for the country’s financial system.

  • In calling China a 'currency manipulator,' the US plays its Trump card

    In calling China a 'currency manipulator,' the US plays its Trump card

    The US finally labelled China a currency manipulator this week, a day after the renminbi weakened to below the psychological level of seven against the dollar. With China clearly indicating its willingness to open a new front in the trade war, the stage is set for an increase in rhetoric between the two countries.

  • Panda bonds aren’t fit for purpose. Time to cut the red tape.

    Panda bonds aren’t fit for purpose. Time to cut the red tape.

    Panda bond issuance has so far been dominated by overseas-incorporated Chinese names. That bolsters volumes, but it does little to help the market fulfil its role of boosting RMB internationalisation. Policymakers have the chance to fix it — but only if they are bold enough to let markets play a bigger role.

  • Belt and Road Pandas finally come of age

    Belt and Road Pandas finally come of age

    DCM bankers often market Panda bonds as Belt and Road bonds, even when they have little to do with China’s landmark infrastructure plan. But in recent weeks, issuers with genuine needs for funding Belt and Road projects have started to tap the market. The change could open up a new frontier for RMB internationalisation.

  • Backtracking on reforms not an option for China

    Backtracking on reforms not an option for China

    Foreign ownership reform in the Chinese financial sector is not only a landmark in the country’s opening up, but also a strategic move to rebalance US-China trade. But recent guidelines curtailing banking sector liberalisation appear to be a case of one step forward, two steps back for China. Now more than ever, Beijing must not let its caution around financial risk take over and undo its strategy.

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