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$45.5b pension funds set to play stock market in Aug

By He Yini (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-06-01 14:52

$45.5b pension funds set to play stock market in Aug

An investor browses stock information with his smartphone at a brokerage in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

As much as 300 billion yuan ($45.5 billion) in pension funds are expected to march into the stock market in August, as China's huge social security fund is closing up its hiring by June, Securities Daily reported on Wednesday.

The National Council for Social Security Fund, the agency that oversees the pension fund, in early May posted rare job openings for 29 positions for fund managers and accountants on its website, hoping to find professionals to run the fund.

August will just be the country's initial push into riskier assets investment, which account for 15 percent of the pension fund's total net assets, the newspaper said, citing Li Lifeng, an analyst at Sinolink Securities Co.

A new guideline issued on May 1, the first of its kind by the central government, regulates that the fund's maximum investment in stocks be 30 percent of its net assets, or about 600 billion yuan.

The regulation allows the country's pension funds to invest in riskier products, including fixed-income products, stocks and private equity funds.

China's total pension funds stood at 3.99 trillion yuan at the end of 2015, according to a report from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Monday.

The funds drew an annual revenue of 3.22 trillion yuan, up 16.6 percent from a year earlier, far more than its expenditure of 2.79 trillion yuan, the report said.

With new regulations being rolled out, the pension fund is expected to usher in a new era of development, said Xu Peidong, an analyst at the Everbright Securities Research Institute.

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