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China grants US$150 mln-QFII quota to Cathay Life Insurance

Apr. 24, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Cathay Life Insurance Co, a unit of Taiwan-listed Cathay Financial Holding Co Ltd, has been awarded an investment quota of US$150 million by State Administration of Foreign Exchange to directly invest in Chinese securities as a qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII).

Under the QFII program, Cathay Life Insurance is allowed to invest in RMB-denominated financial products, including A shares and corporate bonds.

The insurer is the fourth Taiwanese life insurer to have the QFII license, following Shin Kong Life Insurance Co, Taiwan Life Insurance Co and China Life Insurance Co each awarded a US$100 million quota last month.

Last December, Cathay Financial's asset-management unit was also awarded a US$100 million quota as a QFII.

The QFII program was first launched in 2003. Foreign investors can trade China's domestically listed RMB-denominated A-graded shares through the program, China Knowledge reported earlier.

After obtaining approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), a QFII must wait for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to approve an investment quota before the foreign investor can start making securities investments in China.

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