Germany’s economy shrank at the fastest pace in almost three years in the final part of 2012, and data on Wednesday showed demand for new cars in Europe fell in December to the lowest level since 1995.
More overseas investors were allowed to enter China’s stock markets last year amid the country’s efforts to open up its financial sector, latest data has showed.
China granted qualified foreign institutional investors (QFIIs) licenses to 72 new foreign investors in 2012, a record since the start of the scheme in 2002, according to figures released Tuesday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
China approves more QFIIs in 2012
The number was up from 29 in 2011, 13 in 2010 and 19 in 2009.
Foreign institutions are allowed to buy Chinese shares mainly through two programs — QFII and RMB QFII, as foreign individuals are barred.
China could increase 10-fold the quota for foreign investors putting money into its stock markets, as the two programs together account for “just 1.5 or 1.6 percent” of its A-share market, CSRC Chairman Guo Shuqing Monday told an economic forum in Hong Kong.
The country has been taking steps to attract more long-term overseas funds. In April, the CSRC raised the investment ceiling for QFIIs to $80 billion from $30 billion.
In July, it eased restrictions on foreign investors by allowing qualified institutional investors to hold up to 30 percent of shares in any domestically listed company, up from 20 percent.
Total QFII quotas reached $37.44 billion between 2002 and 2012, according to the data.
Yesterday in Asia
Tokyo ended 2.56 percent, or 278.64 points, lower at 10,600.44 and Shanghai slipped 0.70 percent, or 16.18 points, to 2,309.50.
Seoul dropped 0.32 percent, or 6.29 points, to 1,977.45 and Hong Kong was off 0.10 percent, or 24.52 points, to 23,356.99. But Sydney put on 0.46 percent, or 21.8 points, to close at 4,738.4.
Wellington fell 0.04 percent, or 1.72 points, to 4,169.23.
Air New Zealand was down 1.16 percent at NZ$1.28, Contact Energy lost 0.58 percent to NZ$5.16 and Fletcher Building was up 0.11 percent at NZ$8.89.
Taipei slipped 0.83 percent, or 64.59 points, to 7,700.43.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 1.29 percent at Tw$99.2 while leading smartphone maker HTC was 0.52 percent higher at Tw$289.0.
Manila retreated 0.66 percent, or 40.15 points, to 6,047.52.
Top-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. fell 0.37 percent to 2,698 pesos while rival Globe Telecom dropped 0.27 percent to 1,092 pesos.
Singapore closed up 0.39 percent, or 12.43 points, to 3,208.50.
DBS Bank fell 0.14 percent to Sg$14.36 while Singapore Airlines gained 0.09 percent to Sg$11.08.
Jakarta ended up 0.23 percent, or 10.14 points, to 4,410.96.
Retailer Hero Supermarket jumped 5.49 percent to 4,800 rupiah and food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur rose 1.65 percent to 6,150 rupiah.
Bangkok lost 0.47 percent, or 6.72 points, to 1,416.14.
Oil company PTT added 0.30 percent to 336 baht, while coal producer Banpu dropped 1.49 percent to 396 baht.
Mumbai slid 0.85 percent, or 169.19 points, to 19,817.63.
Mobile phone firm Reliance Communications slid 5.93 percent to 80.95 rupees while private aluminum producer Hindalco fell 4.38 percent to 123.4.
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