China may open up to investors

Neil Gough / New York Times News Service /

HONG KONG — In what would be a drastic liberalization of China’s huge but still cloistered capital markets, the country’s top securities regulator said Monday that foreign investment could be allowed to rise as much as tenfold.

Citing the still-nascent levels of overseas participation in domestic stock markets — despite recent actions more than doubling the amount of money that foreign funds can invest there — Guo Shuqing, the regulator, hinted that 2013 could bring sweeping new measures to open financial markets in China.

“For our capital markets to mature, they must open more in the future,” Guo, the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said Monday at a financial forum in Hong Kong. “Our goal is to make it easier for nonresidents to issue and trade securities in the domestic markets.”

Shares in Shanghai leaped 3.1 percent Monday after Guo’s comments, as investors speculated that a wave of foreign cash could be set to hit the mainland stock markets.

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