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China encourages insurance funds to invest in major projects

Updated: May 22,2017 4:34 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s top insurance regulator said on May 22 insurance funds are expected to invest in major projects that will play a significant role in boosting the economy.

These projects will be given easier access to debt investment by insurance funds if the borrowers have a high credit rating, according to a circular from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Such projects are mainly in the areas of water conservancy, energy, transportation, high-tech and advanced manufacturing, with large scale investment and controllable risks, the CIRC said.

For insurance funds to make debt investment in major projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, procedures will be simplified

The CIRC pledged to do more to channel insurance funds into the real economy.

As of the end of March, a total of 4 trillion yuan ($580 billion) of insurance funds had gone into infrastructure construction and other projects aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives, according to CIRC figures.

Authorities have stepped up the regulation of insurance funds after some insurers used leveraged money to buy shares in listed companies, triggering market volatility, late last year.

Insurance funds should serve the real economy and help supply-side structural reform, the CIRC said earlier this month.

By the end of December 2016, the combined assets of China’s insurance sector totaled 15 trillion yuan, official data showed.

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