Posted on Beijing Bulletin, Thursday December 22nd, 2016


Ireland has been granted a quota of about 7 billion euros to invest directly into Chinese securities.

This investment will be allowed to be made through the renminbi (RMB) qualified foreign institutional investors (RQFII) scheme.

RQFII is considered much less restrictive than the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) platform.

Within the QFII platform, investors must allocate at least half of their quota to equities.

The investments may be made through various financial instruments including shares, bonds and money market investments.

With this move, Ireland has become the 18th jurisdiction granted access to China’s capital markets under the more flexible of China’s two main licences for foreign institutional investors.

Other countries given similar access to Chinese capital markets include Britain, France, Germany and South Korea.

This move comes at a time when Chinese authorities are trying to boost the use of the renminbi internationally, in a bid to reform the economy and liberalize its capital markets.

Following the near-collapse of China’s equity markets in the summer of 2015, foreign interests have decreased.

A sudden devaluation of the currency also added to the crisis.

Nonetheless, this, soon to be implemented decision is all set to support economic and financial links between China and Ireland.

It also represents and increasing cooperation between the nations.

Philip Lane, Governor of the Bank of Ireland said in a statement, “Initiatives such as this further global economic integration and may therefore result in potential macroeconomic gains for the jurisdictions concerned. Irish Funds, the representative body for the cross-border investment funds industry in Ireland, welcomed the announcement, saying it “recognises Ireland’s position as a leading cross-border funds centre.”

The announcement comes after the central bank started accepting applications to invest in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

Consequently, Irish funds were granted access to the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect programme in 2015.

The chief executive of Irish Funds, Pat Lardner said, “We are delighted the RQFII quota has been granted—it is testament to the hard work of both the Chinese and Irish authorities and something we have been strong advocates for on behalf of our members. We believe that multiple access points to the Chinese securities markets via RQFII and Stock Connect provide a range of options for the hundreds of investment managers who already use Ireland and the many more we believe will.”

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan too welcomed the move and said, “The fact the People’s Bank of China has generously granted Ireland this quota highlights the important role Ireland plays in international financial services.”

Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State for Financial Services said, “While given the uncertainty arising from the Brexit vote it has become more of an imperative for Ireland to continually improve the conditions to attract new investment and job creation in this sector.”


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