China to draw foreign investors into commodities futures trading

SHANGHAI :China will launch more futures contracts, including a shipping futures contract, and accelerate efforts to bring in more overseas investors to trade in its futures market, the State Council, or cabinet, said on Friday.

China will also establish an international, yuan-denominated commodity futures market, it said in a statement on promoting trade and investment in its free-trade zones.

The cabinet announcement comes amid China’s increasing efforts to become a global commodities pricing power, with the country gradually opening up more commodities derivative contracts to overseas participants for trading.

Foreign companies and investors currently have limited access to China’s vast commodities markets. Contracts that are open to foreign traders include crude oil, iron ore, TSR 20 rubber, low-sulphur fuel oil and bonded copper.

“(China will) accelerate the introduction of overseas traders, build an international commodity futures market priced and settled in renminbi, and develop widely representative futures prices that domestic and foreign traders will recognize and participate in,” said the cabinet’s statement.

The statement also said the country will launch pilot schemes for intellectual property rights securitization in qualified free-trade zones based on high-value patent portfolios of industries.

It will also allow qualified financial leasing firms in free-trade zones to share foreign debt quotas with their special purpose vehicles (SPVs) under the macro-prudential framework for cross-border financing.

(Reporting by Emily Chow in Shanghai, Min Zhang and Kevin Yao in Beijing; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Uttaresh.V)