Ping An Insurance Group said it would not rush to buy assets in overseas markets after the government increased the amount it is permitted to invest overseas to US$5 billion from about US$2 billion. 'We do not see a need to rush into buying overseas assets as we are optimistic about the mainland market, which has abundant liquidity, good corporate earnings and strong fundamentals. We also need to consider the appreciating yuan,' said chief asset investment officer John Pearce. The group has more than 90 per cent of its investments in mainland bank deposits, stocks and bonds, with its overseas holdings at the previous maximum of US$2 billion. Regulations governing the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors scheme were relaxed last month to allow insurers to invest 15 per cent rather than 5 per cent of their assets overseas and to sell products for mainlanders to invest overseas. Group executive director and president Louis Cheung said the group had launched several QDII products as pilot schemes and had set up a team in Hong Kong to handle the investments. He said that the market slump was not a concern. 'Though this may make it cheaper to buy ... we will eye longer investment terms such as 18 to 20 years and are happy to see our portfolio with 15 to 20 per cent in equities,' Mr Cheung said. The group has no debt paper holdings related to US subprime mortgages, and has cut 15 billion yuan of investments in relatively risky assets, he said. 'We have shifted to invest in more stable assets such as mainland infrastructure projects, good quality unlisted mainland companies and commercial properties,' he said. Ping An chairman Peter Ma Mingzhe said: 'The group would like to have balanced development in the three major businesses of insurance, banking and asset management.'