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State Pension Fund Permitted for Starting Investment Overseas

China's State Security Fund Council said Saturday it has been approved by the Chinese Government to begin to invest overseas as of May 1 of this year.

The move was made possible after the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, approved provisional regulations governing the overseas investment of the fund last month. The regulations will be effective as of May 1.

The fund was set up in 2000 by the Chinese Government as a strategic reserve for its ageing population, and its total asset was valued at 201.02 billion yuan (US$25.1 billion) by the end of 2005.

The fund mainly comes from budgetary allocation from the Ministry of Finance, revenues from sales of shares of State-owned firms listed overseas.

According to the investment plan unveiled last month, up to US$800 million will be used for share investment in overseas markets while up to US$300 million will be invested overseas in products with fixed returns.

Overseas investment will help the fund to explore more investment opportunities, diversify investment risks and maintain and increase the value of the fund.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2006)

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