China regulator met with foreign investors to alleviate concerns – sources

By Selena Li

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator met with representatives from top Western asset managers on Friday to reassure them about the country’s economic prospects, as its post-COVID recovery falters, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC) held the virtual meeting with at least half a dozen global financial institutions on Friday, said the people, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Fang Xinghai, a vice chairman of the CSRC hosted the meeting from Beijing, the sources said.

An executive from Fidelity International was among those from the large funds attending, according to one of the sources.

The CSRC did not immediately responded to Reuters’ request for comment. Fidelity declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported the CSRC meeting on Friday.

The meeting comes as Beijing scrambles to shore up investor confidence in the market, which has been hobbled by a deepening property sector crisis and weakening growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s benchmark CSI300 has fallen more than 11% since its high for the year in February.

The economy grew at a sluggish pace in the second quarter amid weak demand at home and abroad, prompting analysts to downgrade their growth forecasts for the year.

Beijing has taken a series of measures to bolster markets. However, the modest stimulus has so far failed to satisfy investors, who want a stronger policy response, including massive government spending.

Chinese authorities are planning to cut the stamp duty on stock trading by as much as 50%, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources, in a further attempt to revitalise the struggling stock market.

After a meeting with pension funds, big banks and major insurers, the CSRC said on Thursday that it was encouraging medium and long-term investors, such as state pension funds and wealth management funds, to increase their equity investments.

The confidence-boosting meetings come as global funds are seen accelerating their exit from Chinese assets.

(Reporting by Selena Li; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Sharon Singleton)