China economy

China ‘drawing up rules to control overseas investment’

Guidelines will state in which sectors company investment abroad is welcome, state-run newspaper says, as government tries to rein in “irrational” spending

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 3:27pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 3:27pm

China may publish rules this year on outbound investment by Chinese firms that would spell out the sectors in which investing is encouraged and those where it is restricted, state media reported on Tuesday.

Chinese regulators have clamped down in recent month on outbound deals as part of efforts to stem rising capital outflows that have contributed to a weakening yuan.

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said earlier this month that a small number of Chinese companies had invested overseas “blindly and irrationally” in investments China does not encourage.

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The state foreign exchange regulator has said the government will more closely monitor “irrational” investment in property, entertainment, sports and other sectors.

Efforts to contain outbound investment appear to be having a significant effect. Non-financial outbound investment fell 52.8 per cent from January to February from the same period last year, with amounts in the property and entertainment sectors down over 80 per cent.

The report on Tuesday in the state-run Economic Information Daily said the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission were leading the formulation of rules.

“Overseas investments that produce social and economic benefits, that are in line with the country’s ‘One Belt One Road’ and global industrial capacity cooperation strategies will be encouraged,” the article quoted an unidentified person in industry as saying.

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The person was also quoted as saying blind and irrational investments will not be encouraged and supervision will be increased.