Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) Scheme
Launched in December 2011, the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) Program provides an opportunity for qualified investors from certain jurisdictions outside of China to use offshore RMB to invest in China’s capital markets. As inclusion of Chinese securities in major global indices expands, the RQFII Program provides an attractive way for investors to gain direct access to Chinese A-shares and bonds currently not available in the offshore market. In June 2016, China awarded the U.S. with a RMB 250 billion RQFII quota, the largest after Hong Kong, opening a new channel of investment for the world’s largest asset management industry.
Investors interested in applying for a U.S. RQFII quota must:
- Be registered and have their principal place of business in the U.S.;
- Have an asset management license issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and
- Have already conducted asset management business.
RQFIIs may invest in:
- Exchange traded or transferred A-shares, bonds and warrants
- Fixed income products traded in interbank bond market
- Securities investment funds
- Equity index futures
- Subscription to IPO, additional issuance, rights issues, and convertible bond issuance
- Other instruments approved by CSRC
RQFIIs shall determine asset allocation at their own discretion, but shall not allocate more than 20% in cash and cash equivalent products.
RQFII application overview
To gain access to the RQFII Program, investors must complete an application which includes obtaining a license from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and obtaining an investment quota from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
The following illustration provides an overview of the application process. For a step-by-step guide to the application process, please see the U.S. RQFII Application Guide.
CSRC – China Securities Regulatory Commission
SAFE – State Administration of Foreign Exchange
CIBM – China Interbank Bond Market
PBOC SHH – People’s Bank of China Shanghai Branch
CSDC – China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation
SSE – Shanghai Stock Exchange / Shenzhen Stock Exchange
CCDC – China Central Depository and Clearing
SCH – Shanghai Clearing House
CFETS – China Foreign Exchange Trading System