China granted new investment quotas of 29 billion yuan (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) to qualified foreign institutional investors in March as the country moves cautiously to encourage capital flows.
Of the quota, 1.45 billion U.S. dollars was granted to six investors under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) program, and 20.1 billion yuan was made to RMB-denominated Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII), according to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
China's currency, the yuan, is convertible for trade purposes under the current account, while the capital account, which covers portfolio investment and borrowing, is still largely controlled by the state over concerns of abrupt capital flows moving in and out of the country.
To gradually open the capital account, QFII and RQFII programs were introduced, under which foreign investors are given a certain quota to move money into China's capital account, to encourage flows.
As of March 28, 241 overseas institutions have received QFII quotas amounting to 53.6 billion U.S. dollars, and the volume under the RQFII scheme totalled 200.5 billion yuan.