FTZ expands free trade accounts

FTZ expands free trade accounts

FTZ expands free trade accounts.
NON-BANKING financial institutions may be allowed to operate free trade accounts in Shanghai’s pilot free trade zone as reforms expand further, an official with the FTZ’s administration said yesterday.
 
The expansion will allow securities companies, trust firms and insurance companies to offer free trade accounts, Li Jun, deputy secretary-general of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Administration, told an investment forum in Shanghai.
 
Free trade accounts are now available only in yuan but Li said foreign-currency business is likely to be launched in six months.
 
Introduced in May, free trade accounts allow holders to transfer money across borders without being subject to strict capital controls that apply outside the zone.
 
Ten Chinese banks have been allowed to open free trade accounts. By the end of July, 1,972 free trade accounts have been opened by foreign and domestic institutions and individuals, according to Li.
 
Foreign banks in the zone are expected to be allowed to open such accounts soon, and Li disclosed that HSBC is already testing its free trade accounting system.
 
Li also confirmed the FTZ will launch an international trading board for gold on September 29, the zone’s first anniversary, to lure foreign players and boost China’s voice in the global bullion market.
 
The China Foreign Exchange Trade System, China Financial Futures Exchange, and Shanghai Cleaning House will set up trading platforms in the zone while an insurance exchange is also being planned, Li said.
 
There are also plans for three to five spot markets for trading of commodities, Li added.

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