BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China sped up approvals for qualified foreign institutional investors (QFII) during the first four months of this year, official statistics showed Wednesday.
China granted QFII status to 28 foreign companies from January to April, near the annual total of 29 in 2011, according to data from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
Five QFIIs were approved in April alone, bringing the number of QFIIs in China to 163, the figures showed.
Meanwhile, a CSRC official said more measures will be taken to facilitate long-term QFII investment in the Chinese market, the Beijing-based China Securities News reported Wednesday.
The CSRC will simplify and accelerate the QFII application procedure, lower the threshold for applicants, expand the scope of investment and ease restrictions on fund remittances and the establishment of accounts, said Wang Lin, director of the CSRC fund supervision department.
Long-term investors, such as pension funds and provident funds, will be given priority in QFII approval, said Wang.
China launched its QFII program in 2002 to allow overseas investors to make investments in China's stock market under a preset investment quota of 10 billion U.S. dollars.
The quota was expanded to 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 and to 80 billion U.S. dollars last month.