Exclusive-StanChart suspends new investments from clients via China outbound channel By Reuters

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© Reuters. The Standard Chartered bank logo is seen at their headquarters in London, Britain, July 26, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/file photo

By Selena Li

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Standard Chartered has suspended new subscriptions by its clients in China into offshore products via a quota-based channel since last week, the Asia-focused bank said in a statement to Reuters.

The London-headquartered bank cited “commercial reasons” as its explanation for the suspension of new investments under the qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) programme. It did not elaborate.

StanChart’s move comes amid Beijing’s efforts to stem capital outflows as weaker yuan and a slowing economy have driven savers to move assets offshore.

Launched in 2006, QDII is one of the few outbound investment channels qualified domestic and foreign institutions use to help Chinese wealth and corporate clients invest in offshore funds, bonds and other structured products.

has faced renewed depreciation pressure in 2024, weighed down by the dollar’s resurgence in light of market bets the Federal Reserve could wait longer than previously expected to begin cutting interest rates.

The yuan has lost about 1.4% against the dollar so far this year.

Since 2006, StanChart has been awarded a total QDII quota of $2.8 billion, the third largest among foreign banks only behind HSBC’s $4.73 billion and Citigroup’s $3.5 billion, according to the latest data from China’s foreign exchange regulator.

It has not publicly disclosed how much of the quotas have been utilised.

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