Australia will become an approved investment destination for Chinese banks under a new agreement announced by Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan last night.
The agreement means Australia will join the United States, Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan as members of China’s qualified domestic institutional investor scheme, which has $50 billion for overseas investment.
While Chinese securities firms have been able to invest in Australia since 1996, this new deal allows the booming nation’s big banks and financial institutions to invest Down Under. Given the appetite of Chinese investors for the Australian resources industry, the banks are likely to relish this opportunity.
The move has also been hailed by the Australian financial services industry, which is likely to be given the job of helping the Chinese banks. Richard Gilbert, chief executive of the Investment and Financial Services Association, described the agreement as an outstanding result. “This is a landmark announcement for the Australian financial services industry. Australian fund managers are now ideally placed to partner with Chinese institutional investors in assisting them to further diversify their portfolios.”
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