China pledges to continue opening up financial markets

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 25, 2019.Nicolas Asfour | ReutersChinese officials said they are accelerating efforts to open financial markets and encourage foreign flows after reports the White House deliberated limiting U.S. investments in China.”It is necessary to further expand the high-level two-way opening of the financial industry, encourage overseas financial institutions and funds to enter the domestic financial market, and enhance the vitality and competitiveness of China’s financial system,” the Financial Stability Development Committee of the State Council said in a statement on Sunday.The comment came after reports on Friday said Trump administration officials are considering ways to limit U.S. investors’ portfolio flows into China, including delisting Chinese companies from American stock exchanges and preventing U.S. government pension funds from investing in the Chinese market. One of the options is blocking all U.S. financial investments in Chinese companies, CNBC reported.U.S. Treasury assistant secretary for public affairs, Monica Crowley, said in a statement over the weekend that “the administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time.”White House trade advisor Peter Navarro called the reports “fake news,” saying in an interview with CNBC that “over half of it was highly inaccurate or simply flat-out false.”Still, the latest tensions came at a crucial time as the U.S. looks for more leverage in trade talks, which restart on Oct. 10 in Washington. China state media said on Sunday possible investment curbs is U.S’ latest attempt to decouple from China, which will have “significant repercussions.”President Donald Trump is sticking to his hard stance on China, saying in a tweet on Monday, “We are winning, and we will win.”U.S. and global financial institutions have gradually increased their exposure to the Chinese market over the years. The flagship bond benchmark Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index started adding Chinese bonds this year. Global stock index provider MSCI has included more than $1.9 trillion worth of mainland Chinese A-shares to its key emerging markets index.

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